NEW YORK (AP) — Jacoby Ellsbury's family changed game attire along with their star son.
After nine years in the Red Sox organization, the 30-year-old outfielder left Boston during the offseason to sign a $153 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees.
When Ellsbury played against his old team for the first time Thursday night, he said father Jim was in the stadium ready to cheer in appropriate gear.
"They got decked out from Day One," Jacoby said.
Ellsbury scored the game's first run and had an RBI single in New York's 4-1 win Thursday night.
"Playing with him so long and then you see him playing against us, it's definitely kind of weird," Dustin Pedroia said.
Ellsbury was selected by Boston with the 23rd overall pick of the 2005 amateur draft. When he stepped into the batter's box in the first inning, it was his first plate appearance against Clay Buchholz, taken by the Red Sox with the 42nd selection that same year.
"He was my first roommate in Lowell," Ellsbury remembered from their summer in the New York-Penn League. "He'll be a friend of mine for life regardless of what jersey he has on or what I have on. I mean, you never know. These are guys that you can play with down the road, too."
The pair helped Boston win World Series titles in 2007 and last year, when the Red Sox celebrated a championship clincher at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918.
And then Ellsbury left Beantown for Broadway, following in the path of Babe Ruth, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs and Johnny Damon.
"He did what's best for his family and, obviously, no hard feeling in the clubhouse about it," Buchholz said. "I really wish him the best of luck because he's one of the best. Different seeing him in another uniform, but at the same time you know that's the business side of the game."
Ellsbury spoke with David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes near the batting cage before the game and playfully looked under Pedroia's cap.