A Fan Retrospective: David Ortiz’s Number Retirement Ceremony
It was a warm and muggy night on [Friday] at Fenway where ‘Big Papi’ David Ortiz was having his Number Retired. Out of the Dugout came several Red Sox Hall of Famers, to cheer on Big Papi.
The night was his as all of Boston showed their support with banners hanging in his honor; with his number on it. Big Papi was throwing out the First Pitch but not before the unveiling of his Number on the Grand Stands.
Big Papi had a huge ovation. His career with the Red Sox was nothing short of stellar. Now, this is a guy who did amazing things for the Red Sox. He was a clutch hitter and nothing defined him more than the Home Run. He was one of those hitters who was dangerous anytime he got up to bat.
He could hit the ball all over the Field. More importantly, he could drastically change the ball game. His walk off Home Runs was memorable. And they didn’t happen just once, but all the time!
If the Red Sox needed a hit Big Papi could deliver for them, he was automatic. As a starting DH, he was the go to for the cleanup spot. And boy did he scare opposing Pitchers in that spot! Big Papi re-made the DH position. He made it formidable, he made hitting versatile, he made it the most important position in the batting line-up.
Big hits were what he was famous for. His 541 Career Home Runs is something to be astonished about. Nearly every year of his 14 years with the Sox, he hit +30 Home Runs. What his most memorable moments were: his walk-off Home Run against the New York Yankees in the 2004 Playoffs and his walk-off Home Run in the 2013 Playoffs at Fenway.
Aside from winning 3 World Series because of his performance, breaking the Red Sox Curse, his memorable speech after the Boston Marathon Bombing stands out. He epitomized “Boston Strong” and was instrumental in the “Band of Bearded Brothers” 2013 Season.
When Dustin Pedroia came out of the Dugout and took the Mic to speak on behalf of the team, David Ortiz was tearing up. You could see how much the team meant to him. You could see how much his teammates meant to him. If anything Big Papi was a team player. He elevated the team’s performance and made all his teammates play better.
The team I think about the most where he clearly led, was the 2007 Red Sox Team. He was coming off his most Home Runs season, with 54 HRs in 2006. His .332 Batting Average in 2007 was tops as he made the team better. His performance led them to win the World Series that year and for me, that was one special year.
Congrats David Ortiz on a spectacular Red Sox Career! We are sure we probably will never see a player quite like you. You are a living legend and the best DH the game has ever seen, Cheers! Woot, woot!