OAKLAND — It took 795 days for Stephen Vogt to step back onto the field at Oakland Coliseum.
It took until the eighth inning for him to produce one more moment for a crowd that seemed torn about cheering for a former fan favorite — who had just put the finishing touches on a victory against his former team.
“It was really special for me. Just the fans — I was very moved by them cheering,” Vogt said after his three-run homer in the eighth accounted for the final few Giants runs in a 10-5 victory. “Just the way that I was received the first time back, it really meant a lot to me.
“… To come back and have the fans say thank you or hi, or whatever you want to call it — it was a very neat moment.”
Vogt made the first out of the crazy eighth, and the next seven Giants got on base, turning a 4-2 hole into 7-4 advantage. With two on against lefty Ryan Buchter, Vogt went with a 93-mph fastball, depositing it over the left-field wall to put the game out of reach. There were cheers and there were those stunned as an Athletic from 2013-17 — which included two All-Star appearances — got a bit of revenge.
The last time he played in this stadium was June 21, 2017, when he went 0-for-1 in a trying season in which he was hitting .217. After the game, he was DFA’d and caught on with the Brewers.
“They loved him. As they should. We do,” Bruce Bochy said of Vogt, now slashing .280/.337/.534 in a remarkable comeback season after missing all of 2018 due to shoulder surgery. “Such a great teammate, plays the game right. He’s done some really good things here, he’s done some great things for us, too. Not surprised to see the hand he got.”
Bochy added Vogt would catch again Sunday, earning another start — even against lefty Brett Anderson — in what has become a strong platoon with him and Buster Posey.
But Saturday was about looking back, not looking forward.
“The fans, they were great all day today. I got to see some of the fans who were kind to me, special to me while I was here,” Vogt said. “More importantly to be able to say to the people who work at the stadium. They’re family.”