Juan Gonzalez is back.
The Texas Rangers will honor the two-time AL MVP on the field prior to Friday's critical series opener against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Field. Gonzalez will also sign autographs from 5:15 to 6:15 on the concourse before the game and will throw out the first pitch.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Friday will mark the first time Gonzalez will attend a Rangers game since 2004 when he played for the Kansas City Royals against Texas.
“We are really looking forward to honoring Juan Gonzalez on Friday night,” Rangers executive vice president for public affairs John Blake said in a statement to Grant.
”He is not only one of the most iconic players in this franchise’s history, but also was one of the most popular during his outstanding career. He’ll get a tremendous welcome from our fans tomorrow.”
Gonzalez will receive his Hall of Fame jacket from Tom Grieve and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Jose Guzman. Gonzalez was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2015 but elected not to appear in the ceremonies.
Gonzalez, 53, recently returned to the spotlight as the assistant hitting coach for the Puerto Rican national team in the World Baseball Classic. He spent 13 years with the Rangers and is the club's all-time leader in home runs (372), RBIs (1,180) and extra-base hits (713).