FORT MYERS, Fla. — There were no fewer than 24 reporters surrounding Grady Sizemore in the Red Sox clubhouse Thursday afternoon.
Sizemore never got this kind of attention when he was a 30-30 player and perennial All-Star with the Cleveland Indians.
His world is very different now. Seven surgeries (knees, back, hernia, elbow) put him on the shelf, and on Thursday he played his first baseball game in 888 days. Facing Northeastern freshman Dustin Hunt, Sizemore went 0 for 2, flying out to center and left. He worked three innings in left field without making a play.
“It was fun, exciting,’’ said the 31-year-old outfielder. “I’ve been looking forward to it for a couple of days.’’
There’s an understatement. The last time Grady Sizemore played in a baseball game — any baseball game — was Sept. 22, 2011, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The Indians beat the White Sox, 11-2, and Sizemore went 1 for 4, playing eight uneventful innings in center field. His last at-bat resulted in an RBI single off Addison Reed (A.J. Pierzynski called the pitch from behind home plate) in the bottom of the seventh.
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