Jacoby Ellsbury set to face Red Sox for first time with Yankees

Jacoby Ellsbury Red Sox Yankees
Jacoby Ellsbury will face his former teammates for the first time this weekend.
Credit: Getty Images

The way Jacoby Ellsbury sees it, being a part of the Red Sox can be considered the first chapter of his baseball career. Joining forces with the Yankees will be the second.

Ellsbury’s second chapter began when he signed a seven-year, $153 million dollar contract with New York in December but it didn’t officially begin until Thursday when he faced the Red Sox for the first time.

“As a young kid, if you’d tell me I’d play for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, I’d say that’s pretty special,” Ellsbury said. “I look at the time in Boston as the first part of my career and I’m with the New York Yankees, this is the second part of my career. So I couldn’t ask for two better organizations to play for and I’m excited for the opportunity this year and for the future.”

Ellsbury’s time with the Red Sox began in 2005 when he was a first-round draft pick out of Oregon State. He joined the Red Sox two years later and batted .353 in 33 regular-season games and then .438 in the four-game World Series sweep of Colorado.

Ellsbury played seven seasons with the Red Sox, and appeared in 743 regular-season and postseason games.

“I think of the championships,” Ellsbury said. “I think of the fans. I think of the great memory of the people I met in Boston that I’m going to continually have lifelong friendships with, the ups and downs through the seasons we had, but a lot of great memories I take away and it was all positive. I’m definitely blessed that I could play in that organization and I’ve been given a chance.”

Ellsbury is the latest former Red Sox to make the switch to the Yankees. Recent players changing sides include Johnny Damon, Kevin Youkillis, Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs. Luis Tiant changed sides in the 1970s and Babe Ruth was famously among several players sold to the Yankees by ownership Harry Frazee in the 1920s.

The comparisons to Damon might be the most relevant since both are left-handed hitting center fielders with a similar combination of speed and power.

“There are some comparables but I know it’s been done before,” Ellsbury said. “It’s not just Johnny, it’s not myself, it’s a lot of guys. I feel blessed to play for the Red Sox and I feel blessed to play here to be part of that rivalry and I’m excited for the seven years I have here.”

Ellsbury has not yet received his championship ring but has heard about it and saw clips of the visit to the White House highlighted by David Ortiz taking a selfie with President Barack Obama.

“I got a few messages from the guys congratulating me on the ring,” Ellsbury said. “They said it was awesome, exact words. They were excited. I got the message from them when they went to the White House basically letting me know that you’re a part of this and congratulations.”

Many believe a reason the Red Sox won that ring stemmed from motivation after the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. The Red Sox adopted “Boston Strong” as their motto, which Ellsbury reflected on as the first anniversary approaches.

“It was so tragic,” Ellsbury said. “I think of all the families. My wife, she’s run the marathon. Just a day that when it happened, as players we tried to do everything we could to put a smile on someone’s face, try to help the city in any way that’s possible.

“As baseball players we felt obligated to go out and play as well as we could and put on a good show for that region, the city of Boston [and] the fans. Going to hospitals talking to victims they were excited to see us do well and that put a smile on our face and I think that drove us that much more to succeed last year just to do something special.”

Ellsbury will return to Fenway Park for the first time next week.

“That’s the reason I love this rivalry,” Ellsbury said. “The passion that the fans have. I haven’t thought about too much just because whatever reception I receive will be out of my hands. But I gave that organization everything I had. Every time I stepped out on that field, I gave them everything I had, left it out there and I know the time I was there, they respected that. They liked the way I played, the way I went about my business. So we’ll see what happens. I’m sure there’ll be two different receptions for me — tonight’s game and when I head up to Boston.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…