While Jose Reyes is enemy No. 1 for the time being, there will come a day when New York Mets fans welcome him back to Citi Field with a standing ovation.
Reyes, who went just 1-for-8 in the first two games of the Marlins' road series against the Mets on Apr. 24 and 25, was roundly booed by the Flushing Faithful in his grand return to Queens for the first time since bolting over the offseason for the warmer weather and heftier paychecks offered in South Florida.
Fans were indifferent when a video tribute to Reyes was shown on the video screen at Citi Field prior to the Apr. 24 game, and the ballpark was mostly empty.
Unfortunately for Reyes, he's going to have to wait until after he's retired to get the warm welcome back that he deserves.
Reyes is the Mets' all-time leader in runs scored, ahead of Mets Hall of Famers like Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson and Ed Kranepool.
He's also second all-time in hits, ranking ahead of Mets Hall of Famers like Bud Harrelson, Rusty Staub and Gary Carter.
Mets fans who say Reyes didn't leave a lasting legacy in New York just because he didn't bring us a World Series championship, sometimes forget that he ranks in the top ten all-time among Mets in several other key categories like steals, triples, doubles and games played.
To his credit, Reyes handled the boos with class and said all the right things following the first game of the series.
"(The boos did) not surprise me at all," he said in a nydailynews.com report. "I play for another team now. As I said, no hard feelings to no one."
There had to have been a part of him that was hurt by the cold reception, as he practically spent his prime teenage years and early-20s as a Met.
Due to the age of free agency and athletes leaving for greener pastures, nine years is a significant chunk of time to wear the same jersey in the pro ranks.
I can't wait for the day in the distant future when Reyes is invited back to Citi Field to throw out a ceremonial first pitch and accept his rightful place in the New York Mets Hall of Fame.
Fans will undoubtedly greet him with a warm reception when his career is over, when they can truly look back and appreciate him as one of the greatest Mets of all-time.
Will Jose Reyes ever be cheered at Citi Field? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
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