David Ortiz Received a Standing Ovation from Both All-Star Teams Last Night

Ortiz was the star of the All-Star Game despite not recording a hit.

David Ortiz

Photo via AP

David Ortiz didn’t record a hit in his final All-Star Game appearance Tuesday, but that didn’t make the night any less memorable. The reaction he received when he was pulled from the contest said more about his legacy than anything he could’ve done at the plate.

After working a walk against Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, Ortiz was lifted for a pinch-runner in the third inning. As he was walking off the field, nearly every American League All Star emerged from the dugout and saluted him.

Fernandez, who said earlier Tuesday he was going to groove fastballs to Ortiz, didn’t live up to his promise. Ortiz took a couple of good natured jabs at the young flamethrower’s expense after the game.

“I was supposed to hit a home run in that second at-bat,” Ortiz said, via the Globe. “My boy told me he was gonna throw me nothing but fastballs and that first pitch was a changeup. I thought you told me you were gonna throw me nothing but fastballs. What happened here?”

The amount of respect Ortiz’s peers have for him is palpable. Prior to the game, Ortiz gave a speech to his teammates, telling to them to “whoop some ass.” The AL went on to win 4-2 and secure home field advantage for the league champion in the World Series.

Even though he’s belted 525 home runs in his career—good for 19th all-time—some of Ortiz’s most memorable moments in a Red Sox uniform have come when he’s standing on his bully pulpit instead of inside the batter’s box. There was his moving speech prior to the team’s first home game following the 2013 Marathon Bombings and the pep talk he delivered to his teammates during Game 4 of the World Series later that year. Outfielder Jonny Gomes hit a three-run home run to propel the Red Sox ahead of the Cardinals one inning later, and the Sox never trailed St. Louis again. (Ortiz also hit .688 in the series, securing MVP honors.)

From the moment Ortiz delivered the lineup cards at home plate—a role typically reserved for one of the coaches—it was clear Tuesday night’s festivities were going to be all about him. The fact that he was still the star of the evening despite a forgettable on-field performance is a testament to his larger than life persona and the indelible mark he’ll leave on the game.