Belt eager for fresh start after life-changing Giants tenure originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Brandon Belt has nothing but love and admiration for his former teammates and the entire Giants organization.
After signing a one-year, $9 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Jan. 9, the longtime Giants first baseman joined KNBR 680's "Papa & Lund" last Wednesday, where he was asked about how difficult it was deciding to leave the organization after 12 seasons with San Francisco.
"It's tough, there's no doubt about it ... the Giants organization changed my life, they really did," Belt said. "I'd just be a poor old boy in Texas right now if it weren't for the Giants. I owe them a lot. They treated me like family, they treated my family like their family. I was so happy my kids were able to grow up there, so I owe them a lot.
"And to have to leave that, have to choose somebody else to go to, it was really tough. I have a lot of friends over there, obviously. To leave all of them, to leave [Brandon Crawford], who I played with my entire career, that's the tough part. I think the excitement of going to a new team doesn't replace it, but it definitely helps."
Belt is excited for a fresh start with the Blue Jays, but always will hold a special place in his heart for the Giants.
"It helps to be excited to go meet new people and be in a different scenery," Belt added. "It adds a little excitement to it, but nothing will take away from what I got playing for the Giants. The Giants will forever hold a special place in my heart and I will always consider myself part of the Giants family and I consider the Giants organization part of my family too. Definitely made it difficult, but you got to make the best of it."
Fortunately for Belt, he won't have to wait long before seeing his former teammates again. The Giants and Blue Jays square off this upcoming season in a three-game series from June 27-29 at Rogers Centre. Immediately after signing with Toronto, Belt looked at his new team's schedule to see exactly when he'll see his old friends again.
"Oh yeah, definitely took a look at that, I had to see when I was going to see all the guys again," Belt said. "I think the Giants are making that their family trip if I'm not mistaken, so everybody's families, the wives will be able to come over and see my wife and my kids and that's going to be a great time for us. Just to reminisce and have some fun with our old buddies and I'm definitely looking forward to it."
As difficult as his decision to leave the Giants was, Belt is excited about what the future holds with the Blue Jays.
And for the opportunity to spend time with some lifelong friends soon.