Melky Cabrera has good memories here, the kind that form after close to three seasons in one place. He came to the White Sox as a free agent in 2015. He left as a fan favorite at Guaranteed Rate Field, the stadium formerly known as “The Cell.”
“It’s kind of sentimental,” Cabrera said, speaking through White Sox staffer Billy Russo, his former translator here. “It’s tough to be in that situation.”
Cabrera was back in Chicago on Friday for the first time since the White Sox dealt him to Kansas City in a three-player deal that sent minor-league pitchers A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis to Chicago. He entered the day batting .326 with a .362 on-base percentage and two homers in 11 games for his new team.
Cabrera, who turned 33 on Friday, earned a standing ovation from the small crowd at Guaranteed Rate Park and doffed his helmet as he stepped into the batter’s box in the first inning.
Moments later, the White Sox played a tribute video on the scoreboard before the bottom of the first.
“It was kind of difficult because I played here 2½ years,” Cabrera said of the trade. “But that’s part of the business.”