Andrew Benintendi will return to Fenway Park as a visitor Friday night, batting sixth and starting in left field against the Red Sox, who he spent five seasons with, winning a World Series in 2018. It’s anyone’s guess how Benintendi will be received by fans, especially now that he’s joined the rival Yankees, who acquired him at this year’s trade deadline.
Though it ended on a sour note with an injury-plagued 2020, Benintendi’s Red Sox tenure was largely successful, batting .273 with 51 homers and 53 steals across 485 games. One third of Boston’s “Win, Dance, Repeat” outfield alongside Gold Glovers Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr., the former seventh overall pick will best be remembered for his heroics during the 2018 ALCS, bailing Craig Kimbrel out of a bases-loaded jam with a miraculous, game-saving catch to preserve an 8-6 win over Houston.
In anticipation of Benintendi’s return, former teammate Brock Holt sought help from Red Sox fans, organizing a “Boo Benny” campaign for his first game at Fenway in almost two years.
Benintendi thought the stunt was “pretty funny,” telling reporters he'd been warned Holt planned to tag him in an Instagram post, but didn’t specify what for. Named to his first All-Star Game earlier this year, Benintendi’s Yankees career has gotten off to an inauspicious start, batting just .175 with 11 strikeouts in 50 plate appearances. The slumping Bombers arrive at Fenway having lost seven of their last eight, though the Red Sox haven’t been much better, dropping six of eight while falling to last place in the American League East.