JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There was added excitement at 121 Financial Ballpark Tuesday night.
Sure, Doug Pederson throwing out the first pitch was cool and all. But, the fans really came to see an MLB star.
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. played in his first game since tearing his ACL last year.
Acuna Jr. went 1-3 with a double for the Gwinnett Stripers in their 2-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
The young star said his rehab from the torn ACL was the hardest thing he's ever had to go through and he did doubt if he'd be able to return to his old self.
"The first three months of the rehab was the toughest part and I didn't know if when I came back if I was going to be the same. But now that I'm back and I feel healthy again I feel like I was better than I previously was," Acuna Jr. through a translator after the game.
The 24-year-old spent a lot of time with fans, taking pictures and signing autographs before and after the game. It's something Acuna doesn't think twice about doing.
"I will take all the time in the world to sign for all those fans because after being out for so long and they come out here and support me that means everything to me," Acuna said.
Acuna said there is no timetable for when he will return to Atlanta, but says he feels good and is ready to go when the Braves clear him.