Former Cardinals star Matt Carpenter receives epic standing ovation in return to St. Louis

Former St. Louis Cardinals star Matt Carpenter returned to the city for the first time since leaving the team in the offseason. And on Friday night, Cardinals fans showed their appreciation for the former MVP candidate.

Carpenter, now a member of the New York Yankees, went to the plate with one on and one out in the top of the first inning. As the three-time All-Star strode towards home plate, Cardinals fans gave him a standing ovation,

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina walked out from behind the plate to allow the ovation to continue. Carpenter acknowledged the crowd with a tip of his batting helmet.

Prior to the game, Carpenter opened up about what he loved about his former organization. It’s similar to what’s so special about his current team.

“Just a great culture in the clubhouse, a great atmosphere on the field, a great fan base that’s passionate and an ownership and front office that’s committed to winning,” Carpenter said, via the New York Post, “You combine that with the history of that organization and what it means to put on that jersey — same as a New York Yankee, it’s a special thing.”

Despite any emotion, Carpenter told reporters that he was looking forward to the series. At the end of the day, however, he was looking forward to taking care of business, as usual.

Carpenter left the Cardinals after 11 seasons in the offseason. He struggled mightily the last two seasons, but has found himself again with the Bronx Bombers. The 36-year-old has 15 home runs and 36 RBI in 43 games this year, all while hitting .322 at the plate.

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The three-time All-Star made his debut in 2011. He didn’t play in any of the team’s postseason games as they won the World Series. In 2013, Carpenter finished fourth in National League MVP voting behind Molina, future Cardinal Paul Goldschmidt, and Andrew McCutchen.

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