Eric Hosmer: I have a ‘special bond’ with KC Royals fans

Eric Hosmer of the Boston Red Sox waves to the crowd before hitting in the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo.  The Series Championship Team.  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Eric Hosmer of the Boston Red Sox waves to the crowd before hitting in the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. The Series Championship Team. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

PA

It wasn’t “Turn Back The Clock Night” for Thursday’s Royals-Red Sox game, but there was a throwback feel.

Eric Hosmer was back at Kauffman Stadium with his new team, Boston, and it led to fond memories among players, managers and fans. It was Hosmer’s first time returning to Kansas City since leaving as a free agent after the 2017 season.

But as he flew through the city he once called home, Hosmer said it felt like he was in Mr. Sherman’s Wayback Machine, not an airplane.

“I felt like I was traveling in a time machine about 10 years ago,” Hosmer said. “Just landed in town, seeing familiar faces already after landing at airport and arriving at hotel and all that.”

When he arrived Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium, one of the first people he saw was former Royals teammate, wide receiver Salvador Perez.

The two talked about the 2014 Wild Card Game, which Perez won with an RBI single after Hosmer helped extend the contest with a clutch triple in the 12th inning. They also remembered their victory at the 2015 World Series.

“You know the relationship I have with him. He’s my brother. He’s my brother from another mother,” Perez said with a laugh.

“We grew up together here. We played together in the minor leagues. We played together in the big leagues. We were summoned the same year (2011). We won together, we lost together. Bringing him back to Kansas City is special.

Dayton Moore, president of baseball operations for the Royals, was also in a reflective mood. Moore scouted and drafted Hosmer, who was the third overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft.

Moore vividly recalled the first time he saw Hosmer in high school and how he became a star player in Kansas City who played 12 years in the major leagues.

“Obviously everyone will remember the mad rush home, and they should,” Moore said of Hosmer’s even-handed run in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series. fearless player, a player who has fun on the pitch; he is fearless in the way he plays. He loves his teammates, he loves the fans. He embraces everything about the game.”

Hosmer was sixth in the roster for the Red Sox, who acquired him Tuesday in a trade from the San Diego Padres. He was back in his familiar first base position for the game against the Royals. And he was eager to take over at KC for the first time since stepping off the pitch at Kauffman Stadium on October 1, 2017.

“It’s going to be special for me. I know, on a personal note, I’ve had a lot of relationships on and off the court here with the community, people from Kansas City, all over here in Missouri,’ Hosmer said. “My family has become very close to the people they keep in touch with.

“And ultimately we won a world championship here together. I think that’s the most special bond you can have with a fan base.

These Royals supporters were clearly delighted to see Hosmer, who hugged Perez as he received a standing ovation in the first run.

The Royals also gathered nice tribute video to Hosmer, and it was shown before the first launch.

This story was originally published August 4, 2022 6:05 p.m.

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