(AP) -- Carlos Beltran admits it was an emotional time when the Kansas City Royals traded him eight years ago this weekend. However, it may be the Kauffman Stadium crowd that is feeling blue after he leaves town.
Beltran returns to Kansas City for the first time Friday night when the St. Louis Cardinals open a three-game series against the Royals.
After being drafted by Kansas City in 1995, Beltran played six-plus seasons with the Royals, driving in 100 or more runs four times while winning AL Rookie of the Year in 1999.
The deal that sent him to Houston on June 24, 2004, hurt, but Beltran said he understands it now.
"When it happened, I cried," Beltran told the Cardinals' official website. "Because I was emotional. I signed with the Royals, I came up with the Royals, I had many years in that organization. But at the end of the day, those types of moments make you stronger as a person and make you understand a little more the game of baseball and how things happen."