Ortiz’ bomb tied the game 1-1 in the fourth inning, as he became the 49th player in major league history to hit the plateau.
“It was in a good situation to tie the game,” Ortiz said following the loss. “I’m happy to get it out-of-the-way; you know people have been expecting that.”
Listen: David Ortiz On HR #400
There was no shortage of congratulations for Papi — during and after the game. The Oakland crowd gave Ortiz a big applause after the milestone was announced prior to his at-bat in the sixth inning.
“That was pretty cool,” said Ortiz, who gave the crowd a wave before working a walk. “You’re playing on the road, and you get something like that done on the road and people really appreciate it.”
Following the loss, Ortiz said he had about 40 text messages, and his phone was “still blowing up.”
Ortiz is now among eight active players with at least 400 homers, and the sixth to hit the milestone while in a Red Sox uniform. Manny Ramirez was the last Boston player to do it back in 2005.
“It was awesome,” said Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross. “Of course, everyone’s just waiting for it. It seems like every pitch, he’s got that chance to do it. As soon as it went in the air, it’s just that sigh of relief, I know for him especially, to get that weight off his shoulder. I’m just so happy for him, proud of him. It’s a huge accomplishment.”
Manager Bobby Valentine was also full of praise for his DH, but wished it could have been celebrated in a Red Sox win.
“I wish he could celebrate more,” said Valentine . “David’s a team guy. He knows it’s a great individual accomplishment.”
Ortiz will hold off excitement until after he hangs up his cleats.
“I know at some point in my career I might look at it from the outside and be like ‘I guess I had a good career.’ But right now, you just look at it as another home run you put out there,” he said.
As for a potential future milestone — 500 career home runs — Ortiz wanted nothing to do with that when asked by WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jon Miller.
“Why you got to go there Jonny?” Ortiz said, which drew laughter from the media. “I just hit 400 dude.”