Eric Hosmer finished 1-for-4 as the San Diego Padres defeated the Kansas City Royals on a score of 13-5 last Friday.
But there was more drama in the event because it was the first time that the four-time Gold Glove Award winner faced his old team after signing an eight-year $144 million contract with the Padres in the middle of February.
“It was weird,” Hosmer said of the experience. “I’m not used to seeing that Royal blue on the other side. It’s spring training, but it is a different feeling. It really is. If I were to tell you there were no weird feelings in me before the game, I’d be lying.”
But there seems to be bad blood between him and the Royals. He was seen talking with Royals exec George Brett and his former teammates. He also accommodated Royals fans’ request for a photo just like the old days. Royals fans also gave him an ovation when he was introduced by the announcer and cheered when he stepped in to bat.
Danny Duffy, who was Hosmer’s close friend since they were teenagers, said that the last thing he wanted was face off against the first baseman. His thoughts harkened back to the time Hosmer scored a homer off his pitch when they were still young.
“I never thought I’d ever have to,” Duffy said on seeing Hosmer at bat on the other side. “That’s a perfect world. He’s on a route that’s best for him. It was just a weird experience. I love the dude.”
Hosmer appreciated that Duffy is genuinely happy for him and they were even joking before and after the at-bat. But he said it’s still weird seeing Duffy as an opponent and the last time that happened was about 10 years ago, probably in the rookie ball or the instructional league.
The 28-year-old also said that he will continue to cheer for the Royals unless, of course, the Padres are facing them.