Elvis Andrus sure looks weird in green and yellow, doesn’t he?
Fans at Globe Life Field, though, had no trouble Monday identifying one of the key members of the best teams in Texas Rangers history even though he now plays for one of their rivals.
Andrus was treated to a standing ovation before his first at-bat against the Rangers as the Oakland A’s visited Arlington for the first time this season.
Fans initially cheered for him during pregame introductions, but saved their best applause as he took his place in the batter’s box in the second inning.
After going through his typical routine before an at-bat, he stepped back as the cheers became louder and louder. He removed his green A’s helmet with the yellow brim and waved it to the crowd before the game resumed.
Andrus hit a check-swing grounder back to right-hander Kyle Gibson to end the inning.
Before the game, Andrus said he had been thinking about Monday’s game for about 10 days and could feel the emotions building.
“I’m trying to stay focused and keep working out, and I’m trying to get out of my head right now,” Andrus said as he met with the media before the game. “But it’s a great feeling. I love these fans. I have so many great memories here, so I we’ll see how it goes in the game. I’m trying to not let the emotion get it. There’s a lot of emotion. It’s not easy.”
The Rangers traded Andrus to Oakland on Feb. 6 in a five-player deal that provided both teams with some salary relief as the Rangers took on veteran designated hitter Khris Davis. He was designated for assignment earlier this month.
Andrus had already lost his job at shortstop to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and knew that the best move for his career was to accept the trade. He had full no-trade rights as a player with 10 years’ MLB service time and at least five in a row with his current club.
Andrus made his MLB debut in 2009 and was a catalyst for the two American League championship teams in 2010 and 2011. He enjoyed the best season of his career in 2017, but injuries foiled him the next three seasons.
He entered Monday batting only .224 with no home runs and 14 RBIs, but he was trending in the right direction after a difficult first month of the season adjusting to his new environment.
That’s behind him now, but he will never forget his time with the Rangers. He hopes the fans remember him fondly as well.
“I just want them to remember me as a guy that gave everything he had to the organization,” Andrus said. “I came as a kid and went out as a man, and made a lot of great memories for this franchise. I was always proud to be a Texas Ranger.”