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After nearly two decades away, Juan "Igor" Gonzalez finally returned to a Rangers game.
Juan Gonzalez is one of the most special players in Texas Rangers franchise history.
And Friday, after nearly two decades away, he finally returned to a Rangers game for the first time since 2004.
He received his team Hall of Fame jacket, threw out the first pitch, and signed a bunch of autographs on the same night the team moved back into first place with an 8-4 win over the Mariners, coupled with an Astros loss.
It makes me really happy to see "Igor" back with the Rangers. Gonzalez, 53, was my favorite player growing up and a two-time American League MVP, an RBI machine who, during his prime, drove in more runs than games played.
He was never better than the 1996 American League Divisional Series against the Yankees, when he was a one-man wrecking crew, smashing five home runs in four games. Only a fellow named Gehrig had a higher slugging percentage in a single playoffs than Gonzalez’s 1.375 in 1996.
"Juan Gone," with his 434 career home runs, has stayed largely gone after his last MLB game in 2005. The team initially held off on electing Gonzalez to the Rangers Hall of Fame out of fear that he wouldn't appear at the enshrinement ceremony — and when he was voted in during the 2015 season, he did exactly that, having his son show up on his behalf instead.
But he was back on Friday, receiving not one but two standing ovations.
The fans were making up for lost time.