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Reddick excited to see old friends in Oakland

Astros outfielder enjoyed productive seasons with A's
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

OAKLAND -- Astros outfielder Josh Reddick will make his return to Oakland for the first time since he was traded to the Dodgers last year, when Houston opens a three-game series against the A's at the Coliseum on Friday. Reddick says he's excited to be back and looks forward to the chance to see so many friends.

Reddick played 143 games for Boston in his first three years in the big leagues from 2009-11, but his career took off when he went to Oakland. He spent 4 1/2 years in an A's uniform and batted .257 with 84 homers and 300 RBIs in 596 games, helping Oakland to the playoffs three years in a row (2012-14).

OAKLAND -- Astros outfielder Josh Reddick will make his return to Oakland for the first time since he was traded to the Dodgers last year, when Houston opens a three-game series against the A's at the Coliseum on Friday. Reddick says he's excited to be back and looks forward to the chance to see so many friends.

Reddick played 143 games for Boston in his first three years in the big leagues from 2009-11, but his career took off when he went to Oakland. He spent 4 1/2 years in an A's uniform and batted .257 with 84 homers and 300 RBIs in 596 games, helping Oakland to the playoffs three years in a row (2012-14).

"I know being in right field I'm going to be heckled," said Reddick, who signed a four-year, $52 milion deal with the Astros following last season. "There's a lot of guys I called friends for so long, and I'll probably hang out with those guys after the game and [we'll] pick on each other. It's going to be exciting. … It will be fun to see everybody and exciting to be back and be in that atmosphere. It will definitely be a good reunion."

Reddick, 30, is off to a nice start with the Astros, hitting .333 (9-for-27) through Houston's first 10 games. He was hitting .296 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 68 games for the A's last year when they dealt him to the Dodgers, along with Rich Hill, in exchange for Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas.

Reddick says he's still tight with A's catcher Stephen Vogt and infielder Ryon Healy, among others. He said he took them under his wing as a veteran player and they became very close.

"Those two guys, I'm really looking forward to seeing them again," he said. "Everybody there, I'm looking forward to seeing again, all those guys. I loved playing for [A's manager] Bob Melvin, and he and I remain very close to this day. We text now and then. It's good to have that connection with him."

Reddick said his most fond memory with the A's was when they won the American League West on the final day of the 2012 season by winning eight of their final 10 games, including sweeps of Seattle and Texas in the final week. Oakland won back-to-back AL West crowns, but was beaten in the AL Division Series in '12 and '13 by Detroit, and in '14, it blew a big lead to eventual AL champ Kansas City in the Wild Card Game.

Regardless of the playoff disappointments, Reddick says Oakland will always be special because it's where he established himself as a player.

"It's the best move that happened to me in my career, getting traded over there," he said. "I started my career at a very young age and kind of blossomed into the player I could become. It was about getting an opportunity, and they were the team that gave me an opportunity. Look at what we did in the first three years there; '12 was such a magical year, and we played some memorable games there and made some good friends and had some good times.

"Oakland will always be a part of who I am and what kind of player I'm becoming for the rest of my career."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

 

Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, Josh Reddick