BOSTON (CBS) — David Ortiz won’t be in the batter’s box at Fenway Park next season. So the Red Sox have already planned for his No. 34 to become a part of the ballyard’s fabric.
The Red Sox announced Thursday that they’ll retire Ortiz’s No. 34 on Friday, June 23, in a pregame ceremony ahead of their game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Ortiz’s No. 34 will be the 11th number on the right field facade of Fenway Park, joining Bobby Doerr’s No. 1; Joe Cronin’s No. 4; Johnny Pesky’s No. 6; Carl Yastrzemski’s No. 8; Ted Williams’ No. 9; Jim Rice’s No. 14; Wade Boggs’ No. 26; Carlton Fisk’s No. 27; Pedro Martinez’s No. 45; and Jackie Robinson’s #42, which is retired throughout Major League Baseball.
The greatest clutch hitter in team history, Ortiz helped Boston to three World Series titles in his 14 years with the Red Sox. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader with 10 walk-off home runs in the regular season, adding another seven walk-off hits in a Boston uniform. His 17 game-ending RBI rank first in franchise history since RBI became an official statistic in 1920.
He had a knack for being pretty clutch in the playoffs as well, winning Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS with walk-off hits to propel the Red Sox to a historic comeback from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees. He would earn series MVP honors for that ALCS, and was MVP of Boston’s 2013 World Series championship over the St. Louis Cardinals after hitting .688 with a pair of homers. Ortiz is the Red Sox’ career leader in postseason games (76), runs (51), hits (80), doubles (19), home runs (17), extra-base hits (38), RBI (57), total bases (154), and walks (59).
Ortiz’s 483 home runs with the Red Sox trails only Ted Williams (521) on the franchise’s all-time list.