Yankees shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said he felt his return to an MLB diamond for a regular-season game was special.
Tulowitzki went 1-for-4 with a double in his first regular-season game since July 2017, more than a year and a half after undergoing double heel surgery, in Thursday's 7-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
"People doubted me that I'd get back to this point, so it definitely had some extra meaning to get back out there and play," Tulowitzki said, according to the New York Post's Peter Botte. "I liked my chances of what I felt in spring, and I'm just happy to go out there and help us win a game."
The 34-year-old Tulowitzki, who batted ninth behind Gleyber Torres in the order, doubled into the left-field corner in the eighth inning, making it his first hit since July 27, 2017.
"To be at the bottom of the order, that was different for me. That just goes to show how good [the Yankees' lineup] is," Tulowitzki said. "It really doesn't matter, this lineup really can hurt you from anywhere and it's fun to be a part of it."
Tulowitzki missed the final two months of the 2017 season and the entire 2018 campaign with the Blue Jays, who released him in December even though he had two years and $38 million remaining on his contract.
The Yankees signed him, as opposed to superstar Manny Machado, after shortstop Didi Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery and are only on the hook for the $550,000 league minimum.
Even in spring training, Tulowitzki made his presence felt. He homered in his first Grapefruit League at-bat against Toronto, letting out a "F--- yeah" as he rounded the bases.
And on Thursday, manager Aaron Boone said he felt Tulowitzki looked like a natural in the field.
"He's looked great. The way I put it is, he's at home playing shortstop," Boone said. "Take a musician, an artist that's a great guitar player, you stick a guitar in their hand, and just like that, it belongs there. Tulo and the unique style, and the way he plays shortstop, he's at home now out there. You can really tell that."