Boston Says Goodbye to Big Papi at Fenway

A big-hearted send-off for David Ortiz before his last home game of the regular season.

David Ortiz

Photo via AP

For weeks, Boston has kept dreaming up new ways to send off David Ortiz before he retires, each tribute bigger than the last. That same spirit continued on Sunday, as the Red Sox went big to say goodbye to Big Papi.

First, there was the appearance from Grammy-winner Mary J. Blige, who also sang the National Anthem at Game 1 of the World Series in 2013.

The Sox also announced that the team will be retiring the number 34 in Big Papi’s honor, donated $1 million to his David Ortiz Children’s Fund, and presented him with a baseball bat made out of gold.

Danilo Medina, president of the Dominican Republic was there, fans heard a rendition of the Dominican national anthem, and a massive Dominican flag was draped over the Green Monster.

Even Wally joined in to celebrate. 

Top Massachusetts pols were also there. Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and House Speaker Robert DeLeo came by to see the slugger off and celebrate the official renaming of the David Ortiz Bridge, which got approval from the legislature late last week.

Ortiz later took the microphone, thanking his family, team, and fans for their support over his career with the Sox, with a special nod to his buddy Pedro Martinez.

One can’t help but think back to his “This is our f—–g city” speech in 2013. And he acknowledged his tendency to speak from the heart on Sunday.

“I know I’m very emotional, but that’s part of what I am,” he said.

But the highlight of the afternoon was without question the on-field reunion of stars from the Red Sox of bygone years. There were huge cheers at Fenway for the old crew as they walked out one-by-one, starting with Pedro hoisting the 2004 World Series trophy over his head, and Manny Ramirez not far behind.