When David Ortiz grabs the microphone at Fenway on Friday night during his retirement ceremony, he should first shout, “This is our f—ing city,” followed by, “And this is my f—ing team!”
Many Bostonians are hoping the ultimate drama then occurs, with Ortiz announcing that instead of retiring, he is returning to active duty for the Red Sox.
It’s a nice thought, but one that is about as likely as the Red Sox changing their official team colors to orange and pink.
All Boston sports fans know just how special of a player Ortiz was. His career home run total (483) is second in club history, his RBI total (1530) is third and he owns the distinction of being the most clutch player in Red Sox history, if not baseball history. Ortiz led the Red Sox to three World Series crowns in 2004, 2007 and 2013 after 86 years of the franchise coming up short. He will be remembered as something of a savior by all Boston fans.
Ortiz came to the Red Sox in 2003 after being released by the Minnesota Twins. His closest Red Sox teammate over the years, Pedro Martinez, told The Players Tribune this week just how remarkable a journey Ortiz endured to get to this point in his life. In early 2003, Ortiz’s career had hit absolute rock bottom.
“So David was sitting there in [a Santo Domingo restaurant in 2003] barely looking at me,” Martinez told the website. “[Ortiz said] I just got released by Minnesota. You know what I did? I jumped in the air and clapped. We needed a first baseman in Boston, and I knew that could be David.
“David looked at me, and I think it was the only time in my life I’ve ever seen him serious. He said, ‘How can that be great? My little girl was born two weeks ago, and I don’t have one cent in the bank. How can that be great bro?’’
“Because now I can take you with me to the Red Sox.
“He said, ‘For real?’
“I said, ‘For real.’
“Man, I’m telling you – his face lit up like a little kid’s.”
Martinez called members of the Sox front office that night and soon after the Red Sox had a new first baseman/designated hitter.
The rest is history.
(NESN will broadcast the Ortiz ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. Friday).