Ex-Rangers catchers enjoy return to Arlington

Ex-Rangers catchers enjoy return to Arlington

ARLINGTON -- A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli returned to Arlington on Friday with fond memories of their time in Texas.
 
For Pierzynski, it marked the first time he'd played in a road uniform in Arlington since his one-year stint with the Rangers in 2013. 
 
"It's fun to come back here," said Pierzynski, who hit .272 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs before signing a one-year, $8.25 million contract with the Red Sox. "I had a good time here the year I was here and became friends with a bunch of the guys."
 
Napoli spent last season with Boston after two seasons in Texas, where he was beloved by fans who began chanting his name every time he came to the plate during the Rangers' first run to the World Series.
 
The chanting continued throughout 2012 -- and in 2013 when he made his first trip back as a member of the Red Sox. Napoli will probably hear the chants as long as he keeps coming back to Globe Life Park.
 
"It means a lot to me," Napoli said. "I definitely enjoyed my time here. When I played here, I gave it my all and we got to go to the World Series and have winning ballclubs. The people in that clubhouse, my teammates, the front office, everybody -- it was a great two years for me. ... It's cool. I guess I've got a strong bond with the fans."
 
Both players have experience catching Friday's Rangers starter, Yu Darvish. Pierzynski caught 17 of Darvish's starts last season, while Napoli caught Darvish 10 times in 2012.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.