Fans at Camden Yards were happy to shower Manny Machado with love upon his return to Baltimore, and the longtime Oriole was eternally grateful for it.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything, but they go above and beyond,” Machado told reporters after the game. “It was truly special and something that I’ll never forget. It was just amazing, how they played that video up there, and you know fans giving me the standing ‘O’, it just tells you everything about the fanbase here, and what we did here.”
Today was just the latest in a long line of great moments Machado has had in Baltimore, something he was very aware of.
“It’s just incredible how things happen and how things play out,” the third baseman raved. “Just add another great memory to Camden Yards.”
“Guess it’s just good to be back in Baltimore hitting in this park. Brings back a lot of memories, playing here, you know this is all I’d known for seven years, and to be back here was truly amazing,” he continued.
It wasn’t just Machado who recognized how special the moment was.
“I think it means a lot,” Padres manager Andy Green told the media. “Just being around him, he loves this city, he loves the people in this city. Opportunity to come back here immediately and to do what he did today, the homer, I know it meant a lot to him and his family. It was fun to watch a good person experience a really good day.”
While Machado told reporters before the game he was nervous, that wasn’t what his manager saw.
“I sensed excitement,” Green said matter-of-factly. “From batting practice all the way through the day. It just meant a lot to be back here. He’s a great person when you’re around him, I know you guys know that in this city."
"But he doesn’t always get a great reception in other cities, he gets tough receptions a lot of times, so to see a city that he considers home treat him the way they did today, it meant a lot to me and I’m sure it meant a lot to him as well.”
Machado admitted the nerves did eventually fade for him, but the memories never will.
“The fans kept getting louder and louder, I mean I wasn’t even expecting that,” Machado said when describing the ovation before his first at-bat. “I’ve seen it for many, many years how they’ve gone above and beyond for us, and they did it today. It was very special.”
It was a special day for everyone involved, and in a sport in which player-team reunions can so easily go wrong, it was pretty cool to see one go so right.
MORE ORIOLES NEWS: