Everyone loves a good "revenge game": The first time a baseball player returns -- a series for a hitter, and a single start for a pitcher -- to play against the team that traded him away. A quintessential example of a revenge game was Lewis Brinson's ...
Everyone loves a good "revenge game": The first time a baseball player returns -- a series for a hitter, and a single start for a pitcher -- to play against the team that traded him away.
A quintessential example of a revenge game was Lewis Brinson's phenomenal return to Miller Park earlier this season. In his first series back in Milwaukee, Brinson knocked three homers, including two in the first game of the series.
After the game, Brinson admitted his return to Miller Park felt like more than just another game; "I came back to a place I played last year," Brinson said. "I had a little chip on my shoulder, a little bit."
Here are some of our favorite revenge games from throughout baseball history:
Babe Ruth returns to Fenway
In perhaps the most famous baseball trade of all time, the Red Sox sold Ruth to the Yankees and the rest was history. But while the Sultan of Swat's tenure with the Bronx Bombers altered the course of franchise and baseball history, his first few games back in Fenway didn't feature any of his trademark homers. Instead, the Babe slapped two singles and a double in a Patriots Day doubleheader on April 19, 1920.
Willie Mays comes back to San Francisco
One of the more surreal revenge games in baseball history belongs to Mays, who, in the middle of the 1972 season was traded by the Giants to the Mets. In his first game back in the Bay Area later that year on July 21, the 41-year-old Mays clocked a dinger in his third at-bat, much to the delight of the home crowd.
The New York Times reported that Mets manager Yogi Berra originally planned to rest Mays for that game, but Mays talked his way into the lineup. Said Mays before the game: "He didn't want me to play tonight, but I think I have to play. I think so many people are going to pay their money to come out to see me play."
Fortunately, Berra changed his mind and Mays launched that fifth-inning homer -- the 650th of his career -- sending the Candlestick Park crowd into a frenzy.
Terrific Tom gets revenge in the Big Apple
Tom Seaver's exit from the Mets was one of the more shocking breakups in baseball history, after a salary dispute escalated to his being traded to the Reds in the middle of the 1977 season. It didn't take long for Seaver to get the chance to show the Mets what they had lost -- he started for the Reds at Shea Stadium less than two months after the trade and threw a complete game, striking out 11 former teammates.
The Big Unit shuts down M's
Randy Johnson was traded four times during his career, but had one particularly iconic revenge game in 1999. Almost exactly a year after the Mariners traded him to Houston midseason, the legendary lefty returned to Seattle as a D-back and threw a shutout. He struck out 10 M's, including his former teammate Edgar Martinez.
Bagwell launches one over the Monster
While 13 years had passed since the 1990 deal that sent Jeff Bagwell to Houston, his return to Boston in 2003 was certainly worth the wait. Bagwell, who grew up in New England and was drafted by the Red Sox, loudly proclaimed his return to Beantown with this moonshot home run over the Green Monster:
The Red Sox had probably already regretted trading Bagwell away, but he still took the opportunity to remind them.
Griffey goes back To Seattle
Seven years after his trade to Cincinnati, the city of Seattle's beloved baseball son returned with his new squad in June of 2007. The M's honored Ken Griffey Jr. on the field pregame. The image of Griffey at a podium at Safeco in a Reds uni is pretty surreal.
But later on in the series, Griffey showed the Seattle crowd why they fell in love with him in the first place as he tapped a pair of homers against the M's on June 24th, including a shot to deep right field off the facing of the second deck.
Just Manny being Manny back in Boston
After winning two World Series championship with Boston, the legendary outfielder and all-time fun baseball was was dealt to the Dodgers at the 2008 Trade Deadline. That eventually led to Mannywood, one of the most lit half seasons in baseball history.
Manny Ramirez and his Dodgers didn't travel to Boston until 2010, but Manny made sure to remind the Boston faithful who he was by absolutely catapulting this ball over the Green Monster off Tim Wakefield:
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