The fans in St. Louis appear to be very kind to their departed players, and it was on display on Wednesday when former Cardinal Joe Kelly took to the mound in the bottom of the first to warm up.
The Busch Stadium crowd gave a standing ovation to the 26-year-old who was drafted by the Cardinals in 2009, came up through the farm system, and spent the first 2.5 years of his big league career in St. Louis.
Really cool moment as Kelly gets a standing ovation when he takes the mound. You can tell he was a Cardinals fan favorite.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) August 7, 2014
He received another ovation as he came up to bat to lead off the top of the third.
The reception was, as the Providence Journal’s Tim Briton put it, noticeably different from when Stephen Drew stepped up to the plate at Fenway as a member of the Yankees last weekend.
Let’s just say the reaction to Joe Kelly taking the hill is different than it was in Boston for Stephen Drew last week.
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) August 7, 2014
Kelly went 17-14 with a 3.25 ERA in 68 games with the Cardinals from 2012-14, making 38 starts. He was a regular contributor on both of their past two postseason squads, pitching in seven games in the 2012 playoffs, while starting four – including Game 3 of the World Series – in the Cardinals’ 2013 pennant-winning run.
He was acquired by the Red Sox at the trade deadline along with Allen Craig in exchange for John Lackey and minor leaguer Corey Littrell.
Craig, who is on the DL, also received a nice ovation as he brought out the Red Sox lineup card, tipping his hat to the fans in thanks.