Justin Upton wasn’t sure what to expect.
“I’d like (the fan reaction) to be good, but I’m on the other team,” he said during a pregame press conference. “I’m wearing different colors so you never know what you’re going to get.”
Over his six seasons in Arizona, Upton had an on-again, off-again relationship with Diamondbacks’ fans.
There were the thunderous cheers he received when Phoenix and Chase Field hosted MLB All-Star Weekend in 2011, a year in which Upton finished fourth in the National League MVP voting.
Then, there were the boos that rained down upon him when he failed to follow through the next year even though he still managed to bat .280 despite a jammed left thumb, an injury he suffered three games into the season.
“I hope he gets a standing ovation because he deserves it,” one-time teammate Miguel Montero said prior to the game. “He was good here. He’s a great player. He did all he could to help the team.”
Unfortunately, very few fans heeded Montero’s advice.
There were no standing ovations. There was no standing, period. Unless of course you count those fans standing to see how far Upton’s home run traveled in the sixth inning. (For those wondering, the ball sailed 440-feet according to ESPN Stats & Info.)
“I’ve been searching for that swing for a little bit this month of May so to square one up and for it to carry for me was nice,” Upton said.
Fans, as they had throughout his career, treated Upton unevenly each plate appearance.
“It was mixed,” Upton said of the combination of cheers and boos from the 25,052 in attendance. “That’s what I expected. It is what it is. I had fun with it.”
Upton, who raised his batting average 20 points to .289 after going 4-for-5, had — at least on this night — the last laugh.
“We’ve been scuffling a little bit to score runs on this road trip so to get out and put up some runs was nice,” Upton said after helping hand his former team its worse loss of the season, 10-1.
“It was a fun game.”