NEW YORK -- In two seasons with the Mets, Scott Hairston made some friendships he expects to last beyond his playing career.
Now an outfielder for the Cubs, Hairston is back playing at Citi Field for the first time since leaving the Mets. Hairston said he still keeps in touch with Mets players Lucas Duda, Justin Turner and Mike Baxter, who was recently demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Hairston said he enjoyed playing in New York and loves to come back to the city. While two seasons isn't much, he said he built strong relationships with the Mets.
"Those guys are awesome teammates," Hairston said. "When you walk away from the game and you look back at your career, thinking about a lot of the guys you played with, a lot of different guys, Lucas and Mike are definitely guys I can see myself staying in contact with when my career is over."
Hairston hit .255 with 27 home runs and 81 RBIs with the Mets over two seasons. This season, he was hitting .155 with five home runs and 15 RBIs entering Friday.
He said Friday that he thought initially he might return to New York, but ultimately, the Mets chose not to re-sign him.
"But I personally think the Mets wanted to go in a different direction," Hairston said. "Which I was OK with in the end. I understand the game. I understand that each year is different and how you want to mold the team."
Still, Hairston said he was glad he had the opportunity to play in New York, and said he appreciates the memories he was able to build with the Mets.
"Nobody can take that away from me," Hairston said. "I had to move on. They moved on."
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.