Ryan thrilled to return to St. Louis

Ryan thrilled to return to St. Louis

ST LOUIS -- Shortstop Brendan Ryan's return to St. Louis was a bit delayed, but it finally came on Monday, when the Yankees opened a three-game series against the Cardinals.

Ryan, who made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2007, was traded from Seattle to New York last September, two days before the Mariners were set to arrive in St. Louis. A year later, Ryan finally made his return, albeit on the other side.

"Even just the ride from the airport to the hotel brings back some memories," Ryan said. "This is where it all obviously started for me."

Ryan, who got his first hit with St. Louis, fondly remembers clinching the National League Central in 2009, when the team was in Colorado.

Ryan, 32, spent four seasons in St. Louis, hitting .259 in 415 games before he was traded to Seattle following the 2009 season. The city has remained a special place for him.

"I feel like there was a connection there with the fans, and they were so good to me," he said. "I felt very lucky to come up with St. Louis and get a chance there. Whether it was the hustle or getting a bunt down or whatever it was, they always seemed to be behind me. I'll never be able to thank them enough for that."

Ryan has appeared in 10 games this season for the Yankees, hitting .357.

Alex Halsted and Teddy Cahill are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.