Red Sox

Brock Holt salutes cutout fans at Fenway Park

“This is a special place for me. To kind of be here right now is pretty cool."

Brock Holt, now with the Nationals, saluted the non-existent fans in his return to Fenway Park. AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Brock Holt’s first trip to Fenway Park since leaving the Red Sox may not be how he envisioned it.

With only cutout cardboard fans occupying the seats in the Fenway stands this season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Holt wasn’t able to receive a standing ovation that many other players get when they return.

However, the Red Sox still played a tribute video honoring Holt’s seven seasons with the team during their 9-5 win over the Nationals on Sunday.

When the tribute video ended, Holt still acted like the Fenway Faithful were on-hand to give him a warm welcome back and came on the field to tip his cap to the fans. It wasn’t all that awkward as coaches and players on both teams cheered for Holt during the moment.

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Holt signed with the Nationals on Saturday after the Brewers, who signed him over the off-season, designated him for assignment last week. He made his first appearance with Nationals when he struck out in a pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth inning of their loss to the Red Sox on Saturday. Holt did not play on Sunday.

After Sunday’s game, Holt told reporters how weird it was to be on the visitor side of Fenway.

“It’s weird,” Holt said. “I’ve never seen this side of Fenway Park – the visiting side.

“Everyone is like, ‘Hey, you know where the cage is?’ And I’m like, ‘No, I don’t know where anything is over here.”

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Holt, who became a fan favorite after he was acquired by the Red Sox in a trade with the Pirates in 2013, remarked on how special Boston was to him and his family.

“This is a special place for me,” Holt said. “To kind of be here right now is pretty cool.

“I was here for so long, Me and my wife (Lakyn) fell in love with the city and got involved in some organizations that meant a lot to us. Just being here year-round was something that made sense.”

While Holt was beloved by fans and signed for a small one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Brewers in the off-season, he said the Red Sox never really made him an offer to come back.

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“I didn’t really hear from the Red Sox at all, which was a little strange to me,” Holt said. “It’s one of those things – first time through free agency. Didn’t know what to expect. Figured I would get a phone call or something.

“They called a couple times just checking in, but they were never really even close to offering. I think early on in the process I knew it was probably the end.”

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