The greatest Designated Hitter of all time has his number 34 retired prior to series with Los Angeles Angels
The greatest hitter that came to play in Boston since the late Ted Williams had his beloved number 34 retired officially this evening. In a heartfelt moment, former players and those whose numbers were retired able to attend the ceremony, David Ortiz thanked his friends, his teammates, and his family. Ortiz had to fight back tears during his speech.
I think most will agree that it was very well done and as always, a very classy Big Papi took the stage to address his fans one final time. Ortiz came out and said he admitted that during batting practice he tried to hit the numbers out in right field. How appropriate that now his number sits with all the Red Sox greats today.
Today is about Ortiz, all players know it and all fans know it. Naturally the Red Sox hope to get a W for the former fan favorite. The true Mr. October knew his moment was near at the end of last season has been preparing for this day a long time.
Ortiz was complimented by former teammate Pedro Martinez with a line that really set the mood for the night. Pedro thanked Papi for allowing him to bring one of the best things to happen to the city of Boston. After that moment, the entire atmosphere felt different. Several teammates in both the past and present hugged Big Papi on their way to honor their former designated hitter and team MVP year in and year out.
Ortiz had many memorable moments, too many to count, and when asked which moment ranked at the very top? “Beating the Yankees,” said Ortiz. Can you cap it off any better than that? I don’t think we’ll find a player as electric as Ortiz for the Red Sox. No other guy will put up those kinds of numbers and be as clutch in the home run variety. Several players have had their moments, but no player has ever been as consistent.
2004 will always be remembered as the year a player became a Yankee killer, the year that David Ortiz put the team on his back and carried his team in four straight games after going down three games to none in the series. This is the same team that eventually went on to sweep the World Series and grace the wonderful city of Boston with their first World Series Title in 86 years.
Since one Title wasn’t enough, Ortiz helped the Sox do it twice more, first in 2007 and then six years later in 2013, the first year with John Farrell, the current Sox skipper. No question here as David Ortiz will be a no doubt unanimous Hall of Famer when his name gets on the ballet. On behalf of all Red Sox fans, thank you Big Papi, for every hit, every home run, every great moment, and naturally for beating those darn Yankees.
Photo Credit – Charles Krupa – AP Photo