BOSTON (AP) — The Red Sox sent David Ortiz off before his final regular-season game with a promise that he will return.
This week, in the playoffs, when he goes for his fourth World Series title.
And next year, when they hang his No. 34 from the Fenway facade among the team’s retired numbers.
During a pregame ceremony Sunday attended by Red Sox greats like Carl Yastrzemski and teammates from Ortiz’s three championship teams, the ballclub honored their soon-to-retire slugger by draping a Dominican flag over the Green Monster and bringing out his father — Big Papi’s real Papi — to stand next to him in the middle of the diamond.
Ortiz broke into tears when he mentioned his late mother before gathering himself together to thank his teammates and members of the organization from owner John Henry to clubhouse attendant Pookie Jackson. He also thanked the fans — dropping to one knee and tipping his cap to the crowd — along with the media, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, who were both in attendance.
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