Another special and unforgettable moment was David Ortiz, the great “Big Papi”, who for his own merits got the historic feat of becoming the Red Sox player who had to wait less time to see his number 34 in The wall of Boston’s Fenway Park.
It is official, his number 34 will not be dressed again by any other professional Red Sox.
In a pre-match ceremony tonight the Red Sox will play against the Los Angeles Angels, the Boston team withdrew the number that for 14 seasons dressed Ortiz and became the eleventh player to achieve the privileged honor in history of the team.
With only eight months to go since his retirement from the diamond after 20 seasons as a pro and at age 41, Ortiz has staged another unforgettable ceremony, one more than many he has had to live at Fenway Park, but he is exceptional, as Is the withdrawal of the number he wore as a player.
Ortiz, who was in control of the emotions throughout the ceremony held at Fenway Park, attended by his family and former team mate, Pedro Martinez, was grateful for everything he lived and received from the organization of The Red Sox, the community and above all the fans.
“Big Papi” joined Wade Boggs, Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Carlton Fisk, Martinez – key player on his arrival in Boston – Johnny Pesky, Jim Rice, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski as the Red Sox Which hangs their number on the wall of the facade of the right garden of Fenway Park.
However, Big Papi became the first Red Sox player to get his number withdrawn less than a year before he stopped competing.
“That shows us the kind of impact this man has had on the community, the organization and all Major League Baseball,” said Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. “What he has done for this City, the team, the people around him, he really deserves it.We feel very happy for this recognition. ”
The atmosphere at Fenway Park was exceptional with shouts of “Papi, Papi, Papi” when Ortiz took the floor to thank everyone who helped him both in his private and professional life.
Something he already did yesterday, Thursday, when he participated in the act of renaming a street with his name near the stadium.
But this was the first time he had attended an official game since retiring last season and had as a special player with the Angels team his compatriot Albert Pujols, another who has secured a place in the Hall of Fame, and Who said he was proud and happy to participate in the event as special and unforgettable for Ortiz as was the withdrawal of his number.
“This celebration of Ortiz is something very special for me because of all that helped me during my career, the advice that always gave me and the great person who has always been with me,” Pujols said before the game began between the Red Sox and the Angels.
“It’s been great to see him again,” said Red Sox pilot John Farrell. “He returned the fun to Fenway Park, a well deserved day for him, and I was very happy to celebrate David one more time. Seeing him again in the stadium, watching him smile, hearing his peculiar voice, has meant living a very long day. Special for all of us. ”
After starting his career with the Twins and spending six seasons in Minnesota, Ortiz played 14 campaigns for the Red Sox, helping Boston win the World Series three times: in 2004, they broke the “Curse of the Bambino “, 2007 and 2013, when he was elected Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Ortiz completed his career with 541 home runs for life, plus 1,768 runs produced and a .286 average in 2,408 official matches he played.
The 14 seasons he played with the Red Sox allowed him to hit 483 homers and had .956 in the percentage of basing himself on Slugging (OPS).