NEW YORK -- When the Rays open up a series at Camden Yards on Friday, Luke Scott will make his first visit to Baltimore since leaving the Orioles following last season, when the team chose not to tender him a contract.
Scott played four years in Baltimore, hitting .260 with 84 home runs and 236 RBIs in 471 games.
"Like I've said in the past, I played four years in Baltimore, had a lot of good memories there, met a lot of wonderful people, played with a good group of guys," Scott said. "I'm just very grateful for the opportunity to play in Baltimore.
"It will be special going back there. It's a beautiful park as well; I love Camden Yards. It will be a little emotional of course, because you play there and you dedicate four years of your life to one spot. I have a lot of special memories there."
Scott was asked if he anticipated more of a warm reception in Baltimore than what he received in Boston shortly after calling Fenway Park "a dump" from a player's perspective.
"I definitely think it will be a lot warmer than Boston," Scott said.
In his short tenure with the Rays, Scott has already become a fan favorite, a status he also maintained in Baltimore. He said he enjoys having a rapport with the fans.
"I like to, as much as I can, involve the fans in the game," Scott said. "I played the outfield in Baltimore. I would always interact with the fans. I would have fun with them."
Among the fans Scott enjoyed were those who came out dressed as Darth Vader and talked to "Luke" about "the Force" being with him.
"I'd high-five [the fans] or go and talk to them during pitching changes and stuff like that," Scott said. "I just would celebrate with them all the team victories and good plays, stuff like that. I like doing stuff like that. I like having them involved."
Scott said he had many fond memories from playing in Baltimore.
"I won't say there was one in particular," Scott said. "There were a few -- some big games we won, some big comebacks we had there. Unfortunately, we were never able to make it to the postseason."
-- Bill Chastain