By Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff)
BOSTON (CBS) — Confirming Tuesday’s report, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz announced Wednesday morning that he plans to retire after the 2016 season. And as is tradition when a sports legend calls it a career, the internet paid its respects to one of the greats of his generation.
Tom Brady is one of Ortiz’s peers in New England, a fellow legend in the region and his sport. Brady was asked about Ortiz’s impending retirement when he spoke with reporters Wednesday.
“He’s given all of our fans so many reasons to cheer. So he’s been an incredible player. It’s sad to see him go,” said Brady. “I have a lot of respect for him and the way that he’s always brought a great leadership to his team. He’s been a great example.”
Brady wasn’t the only one to shower Ortiz with praise and respect. Twitter exploded with tributes from fans, both in Boston and from rival cities.
The Yankee-killer apparently earned the respect of many fans in the Bronx over the course of his career.
Obviously, it wasn’t all sunshine – it never is on the internet – and there were plenty who angrily dismissed his Hall-of-Fame worthiness or pointed out that pesky PED test thing. But generally, Yankee fans on Twitter seemed fair and consistent (not usually social media’s best traits) when it came to the prospects of a “farewell tour” for Big Papi. When MLB Network host Chris Rose asked them how they plan to treat Ortiz in his final appearance at Yankee Stadium, many responded saying he should get the same treatment that Derek Jeter received from Red Sox Nation (that is, a standing ovation and really loud cheering).
Clearly, this is going to be a year-long celebration of a Red Sox legend and larger-than-life personality. This is only the beginning of the tributes for Ortiz. And it’s encouraging to see so many rival fans pay their respects as only classy people could.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Read more from Matt here. Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at email@example.com.