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Railsplitter
07-17-2012, 10:50 PM
I notice that there is a difference in how players are treated by the fans the first time back in thier former team's park.

Players who were traded or released are usualli cheered.

Players who left as free agents are usually booed.

Probably due to fan perceptions that go like this:

Player traded or released, owner is the bad guy

Player is a free agent, player is the bad guy.

RKMeibalane
07-18-2012, 01:18 AM
I notice that there is a difference in how players are treated by the fans the first time back in thier former team's park.

Players who were traded or released are usually cheered.

Players who left as free agents are usually booed.

Probably due to fan perceptions that go like this:

Player traded or released, owner is the bad guy

Player is a free agent, player is the bad guy.

I agree with this, though I can think of a few exceptions to these rules. Part of issue is how the player in question handled himself when he left. There have been players who left their original teams as free-agents, but did so in a way that was professional and appreciative for their former team, and so they were greeted warmly by fans upon their return.

Another issue to consider is the player's place in his team's history, and his overall standing in his sport. The return of a big name like Frank Thomas is likely to evoke stronger emotions than the return of a mediocre player like Royce Clayton. For many people (myself included), seeing Thomas in an A's uniform felt wrong, as though the universe were playing a cruel joke on us.

On the flip side of coin, there are players who were treated rudely by fans, simply because the fanbase in question didn't understand the circumstances revolving around his exist. Jim Thome's return to Cleveland in 2006 springs to mind. Remember, the Indians organization didn't want Thome back, so he signed a free-agent deal with the Phillies before 2003. However, Cleveland fans blamed Thome for what happened, and booed him mercilessly every time he stepped to the plate against his former team.

MUsoxfan
07-18-2012, 01:29 AM
I was at Frank's first game back. IIRC he hit two bombs that day. I gave him a standing ovation for the first one, the second I sat on my hands

DSpivack
07-18-2012, 01:31 AM
I was at Frank's first game back. IIRC he hit two bombs that day. I gave him a standing ovation for the first one, the second I sat on my hands

One of the most fun games I have ever attended. Pablo Ozuna won it on a squeeze in the 9th, IIRC, after Rob Mackowiak had a PH HR to tie it in the 8th.

RKMeibalane
07-18-2012, 01:34 AM
I was at Frank's first game back. IIRC he hit two bombs that day. I gave him a standing ovation for the first one, the second I sat on my hands

I remember that, too, though I wasn't there. Ozzie Guillen was ejected fairly early in the game. I also remember the ESPN guys making a big deal out of Frank walking past Kenny Williams on his way to the indoor batting cage without saying a word.

LITTLE NELL
07-18-2012, 07:23 AM
I'll never forget Richie Zisks first game at Comiskey after he walked away from us and signed with Texas after the all time fun season of 1977. I was at the game and it was July 3rd 1978 (Fireworks game) and the place was packed as Zisk along with Bobby Bonds who we just traded for the great Claudell Washington were booed like I've never heard before for opposing players. Some fans got a little out of hand throwing cherry bombs at Zisk in LF and Bonds in RF. Though Bonds was traded the fans booed him because he was horrible in his short time with the Sox.

PS Its still one of the best games I've ever been to as we pulled it out in the bottom of the 9th as Chet Lemon hit a HR to put us down by one run and then Jorge Orta hit a 2 run homer to win it, the place went nuts like we had won the 7th game of the World Series.

Ex-Chicagoan
07-18-2012, 09:56 AM
I'll never forget Richie Zisks first game at Comiskey after he walked away from us and signed with Texas after the all time fun season of 1977. I was at the game and it was July 3rd 1978 (Fireworks game) and the place was packed as Zisk along with Bobby Bonds who we just traded for the great Claudell Washington were booed like I've never heard before for opposing players. Some fans got a little out of hand throwing cherry bombs at Zisk in LF and Bonds in RF. Though Bonds was traded the fans booed him because he was horrible in his short time with the Sox.

PS Its still one of the best games I've ever been to as we pulled it out in the bottom of the 9th as Chet Lemon hit a HR to put us down by one run and then Jorge Orta hit a 2 run homer to win it, the place went nuts like we had won the 7th game of the World Series.

I was at that same game and remember a similar level of animosity. And - yeah, when Orta hit the homer I thought the place was going to explode.

pearso66
07-18-2012, 09:42 PM
I was at Frank's first game back. IIRC he hit two bombs that day. I gave him a standing ovation for the first one, the second I sat on my hands

One of the most fun games I have ever attended. Pablo Ozuna won it on a squeeze in the 9th, IIRC, after Rob Mackowiak had a PH HR to tie it in the 8th.

I was at that game too, and I think there were a lot of WSI members past and present there. I believe it was the 1st "Grinder Bash"? It was a lot of fun to be at that game. It was cool to see Frank hit 2 against the Sox, but even more fun for the walk off bunt.

C-Dawg
07-19-2012, 08:01 AM
However, Cleveland fans blamed Thome for what happened, and booed him mercilessly every time he stepped to the plate against his former team.

Then they welcomed him back with open arms when he returned to the Indians last year. Makes me wonder.... Now that Thome's an Oriole, and likely to play again at Jacobs Field, will the fans go back to booing him?