Fenway Park and the city of Boston had a huge impact on former Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz.
Buchholz made his return to Fenway when his new team, the Toronto Blue Jays, came to town for a two-game set. And although he didn’t get the opportunity to pitch, Buchholz enjoyed the fact that Boston was his home for most of his career.
“It’s home,” Buchholz said via MassLive. “Obviously, a bunch of the guys are still here and there are some new faces over there. This is where I came up and it’s cool to be back. It’s been a couple years since I stepped on the field out here.”
The 34-year-old hasn’t stepped onto the field at Fenway since the 2016 season, when the Red Sox traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies for minor league second baseman Josh Tobias.
He also added it’s “neat” to come back to Boston after being traded, and he hopes to pitch at Fenway this season when the Blue Jays return.
“I achieved some pretty cool things at this place,” Buchholz said. “Obviously, I don’t think there’s another ballpark like this one. The fans, they know what’s going on just about every pitch. It’s fun to sit back and look at it as a whole. Hopefully, I’ll get to pitch here at some point this year. That would be pretty cool.”
Buchholz’s time in Boston was characterized by two World Series titles and a no-hitter in just his second big-league appearance. He also faced some struggles, including a slew of injuries.
Through his 10 seasons in Boston, Buchholz saw his best years in 2010, when he went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA and 120 strikeouts, and 2013, when he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 96 strikeouts.