Days after officially signing a one-year, $13 million contract with the Blue Jays, former Red Sox slugger Justin Turner posted an emotional goodbye to Boston on Instagram.
Turner, who spent just one season in Boston but became a fan favorite in that time, posted a collage of photos set to his walk-up song from last season, “Boston” by Augustana. He wrote:
Who knew that in eight short months a Southern California kid and his wife would be embraced by a “rival city” the way we were? The day I signed up to be a Red Sox was the end of practically a decade long run with my hometown team and I wasn’t sure how difficult making the move was going to be. We almost got off to a rough start just by the jersey number I was going to be wearing on my back. I knew how much the #2 worn by the late great Jerry “RemDawg” Remy meant to the Boston base but I made a promise to wear it with honor and make him proud.
But it didn’t take long to feel the support and love from an entire city, one fastball to the face and I was in haha. From that first game, opening day against the Orioles, the second I stepped in the box to Augustana, I knew I was going to love calling Fenway Pahk my home. The energy the fans brought every single night, no matter who was in town or what day of the week and when it was most likely raining (what a wet summer, right?) was electric. There have been so many great players to call Fenway park their home and getting in the same box as Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, Jim Rice, Nomahhhh, Big Papi and The Laser Show to name a few, was a ‘pinch me’ moment. But it’s you, the fans that make that place so special.
Kourt and I loved every second of being Bostonians and loved our New England adventures with Moon and Rigby. We had huge support in hosting our annual 5K Turner Trot with gorgeous views along The Charles River and finishing at The Hatch. Our favorite thing to do was walk the dogs around the city to new parks and reservoirs and everyone made us feel at home. It is almost insane how many great relationships we were able to build in such a short time. I really would like to name everyone but don’t want to risk leaving anyone out. So thank you to everyone in the Red Sox organization for not only making it an easy transition, but making the city of Boston feel like a home away from home.
See you soon Boston, you’ll always have my respect!”
Turner spent nine seasons with his hometown Dodgers before joining the Red Sox as a free agent in Dec. 2022. It didn’t take long for him to find a new home on the east coast. The 39-year-old became a fan favorite due to his clutch hitting and willingness to play through injury as well as the unquestioned leader of the Red Sox last season. Turner and his wife, Kourtney, made a point of taking day trips to locations throughout New England during the summer and even stayed in town for two months after the season ended to soak up more of the experience.
Turner repeatedly expressed a desire to return to the Red Sox but the club never aggressively pursued a reunion and instead will likely move forward with a rotating cast in the designated hitter spot in 2024. He will add a veteran presence to the Toronto lineup. The Blue Jays’ first visit to Fenway Park this season is from June 24-26.
“As time went on it was appearing to be less and less likely,” Turner told reporters, including The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, via a Zoom call Friday. “Right when the season ended, I assumed that it would be a no-brainer, that I would try to work something out and come back.”