Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli left the Texas Rangers as free agents last winter. Hamilton signed with the Los Angeles Angels and Napoli with the Red Sox.
Fans at Rangers Ballpark loudly booed Hamilton when he returned on April 5. The outfielder had a poor end to the 2012 season and later made critical comments about Texans having less passion for baseball than fans in other cities.
When Napoli came to the plate in the second inning on Friday night, there were only cheers. Some fans even chanted his last name.
“I loved playing here,” Napoli said before the game. “Everything about it was great.”
Napoli hit .275 with a .931 OPS in two seasons with the Rangers. He had 54 home runs and drove in 131 runs. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.