For the first time since 2015, Jackie Bradley Jr. will not be patrolling center field for the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day.
Bradley joined the Milwaukee Brewers on a de-facto one-year deal in free agency. The center fielder spent the first eight seasons of his Major League Baseball career in Boston, where he won a World Series in 2018 and was named an American League All-Star in 2016.
One day before MLB opened its 2021 season, Bradley shared an Instagram video and letter — both delivered by The Players’ Tribune — in which he bids farewell to the Red Sox organization, the fans and the city of Boston. Xander Bogaerts, who broke into the big leagues with Bradley in 2013, loved the tribute from his long-time teammate.
“❤️????❤️,” Bogaerts wrote in the comment section of Bradley’s Instagram video.
Bradley will play his first game in the Senior Circuit on Thursday when the Brewers host the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox, meanwhile, will kick off the new campaign Friday with a divisional matchup against the Orioles at Fenway Park.
The Baltimore-Boston series opener — as well as pregame coverage — can be seen on NESN, with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. ET.
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