BOSTON (CBS) – David Ortiz got emotional during a special ceremony dedicated to him Friday night.
The Red Sox slugger’s No. 34 retired during a ceremony prior to a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Fenway Park.
His number is the 10th in Red Sox history to be retired.
Pedro Martinez and many other former Red Sox players helped to honor Big Papi.
Dustin Pedrioa won titles with Ortiz in 2007 and 2013. He said, “You’re not our teammate, you’re not our friend, you’re our family. It’ll be like that till the day we die. So thank you, we love you.”
Ortiz’s thank yous’ to his family, the ownership, teammates, and most of all, Boston fans, were met with great applause.
After the ceremony, he said, “Walking out there, I mean there wasn’t an empty seat. It made me feel like we had one of those important games where the fans want to be there from the very beginning and show some love and support. It was pretty amazing.”
Ortiz played 14 seasons in Boston, hitting 483 home runs for the Red Sox and 541 in his career, which included a tenure in Minnesota. He also racked up 1,530 RBI and countless clutch hits with the Red Sox, leading the team to three World Series titles.
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But Ortiz was also known for his presence off the field. He famously told Fenway Park at the first Red Sox game following the Boston Marathon bombings that “This is our f—— city.”
Accolades have piled up for Ortiz following his retirement last fall.
City officials dedicated a bridge in his honor, and on Thursday officially changed Yawkey Way Extension near Fenway Park to David Ortiz Drive.
Fans from around the country came for then ceremony at Fenway. Many were decked out in Red Sox gear, all were ready to express their appreciation for Ortiz.
Ortiz’s No. 34 will be added to the right field façade at Fenway Park alongside the numbers of Bobby Doerr, Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Carlton Fisk, Jackie Robinson, and Ortiz’s former teammate Pedro Martinez.