Aug 22, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT
Michael Morse walked into the visitors clubhouse at Nationals Park and put his bag down at the locker marked No. 38. He took his headphones out and walked down the hall poking his head in each doorway.
“I’ve never been in here before,” he said.
On Friday, the now-San Francisco Giant returned to Nats Park for the first time since October of 2012, when Washington lost in Game 5 of the NLDS to St. Louis. Morse has been on three different teams in the less than two years since, but had yet to come back with any of them.
“It’s weird,” Morse said when asked how it feels to return to D.C. “It feels good. I got a lot of friends here, I got a lot of memories.”
Morse, a veteran of 10 MLB seasons, spent four years in a Nationals uniform and became a fan favorite along the way. His final season in D.C. saw soldout crowds sing his walk-up song, ‘Take On Me,’ in unison.
Morse left in an offseason trade after the 2012 season, a move that was controversial among fans, especially last year when the Nats missed the playoffs. Fans in Washington still adore him and he has fond memories of playing here.
“Biggest memory would probably be getting to the postseason. I think whenever you get a chance to get to the postseason, it helps a player out in his career.”
Morse will likely get a positive reception from fans during his at-bats this weekend as the Nats take on the Giants in a three-game series. Though Morse is excited to play in D.C. again, he does not know what to expect in terms of an applause.
“I don’t know. We have so much more going right now with just trying to win and trying to win a series. I don’t think I have time to think about that stuff right now. I’m happy to be here,” he said.
Morse said he looks forward to seeing former teammates Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth in particular. He and Desmond have plans to hang out this weekend.
First, however, he has a job to do of course. And even though Morse is friendly with the Nationals and their fans, he is on a team fighting for playoff position as well.
Morse is happy for the Nationals and their 10-game winning streak, as long as it ends soon.
“I think it’s great. Any time any team wins 10 games it’s awesome. It’s good for them, but hopefully we can break it today.”
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