BOSTON (CBS) – David Ortiz has received plenty of gifts in his farewell season. But none were as big as the one Massachusetts lawmakers have planned for him.
State lawmakers have taken the first step in naming a bridge after the retiring Red Sox slugger.
The House Committee on Ways and Means proposed as part of a supplemental budget to rename the Brookline Ave. bridge the “David Ortiz (‘Big Papi’) Bridge.”
The “Big Papi” bridge would span the Mass Pike between Lansdowne Street and Newbury Street near Fenway Park.
“David Ortiz’s accomplishments and heroics on and off the baseball field have made him a living legend, and his heartfelt contributions to the communities here and in his native Dominican Republic have made him an icon,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I am thrilled to be able to help our Commonwealth create a lasting ‘Thank You’ to Big Papi through the renaming of this bridge.”
As part of the plan, a “subtle marker” will be placed on the bridge bearing its new name.
In addition to his on-field accomplishments, Ortiz is being recognized for “his charitable commitment to children in New England and the Dominican Republic who do not have access to the critical pediatric services they need, and in helping our city heal in the face of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy.”
After the House Ways and Means Committee completes a poll on the proposal, the House will act Friday on the issue before the legislation goes to the Senate.
“I’m so excited to be part of this process of giving David Ortiz, one of the greatest Red Sox of all time, his proper due by naming a bridge in his honor,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “David has not only been an extraordinary baseball player, he has been an exemplary and inspirational member of our community, most notably after the Boston Marathon bombings. As a fan, I will miss his stride up to the plate followed by a clutch hit and the ballpark exploding into applause.”