One phrase that we all learn when we are very young comes to mind when I was asked the question, “If you could say one thing to David Ortiz, what would it be?” My response was a simple one, and it was thank You. Thank you for all that you have done for the Boston Red Sox organization, and also for the city of Boston. Without you, I really can’t even imagine the state of the Red Sox organization. It would be strange and probably not very successful one.
Story time folks, yes I got a tale for you about my baseball fandom and it involves big 34 and the Boston Red Sox.
As a kid back in the early part of the 2000’s, I thought baseball was an interesting but yet a kind of boring sport. So when the Red Sox signed this big fella from Minnesota, I was like “Well this guy will be here for 2 years and won’t last”. By the All Star break, I figured this guy would be a mainstay for maybe 6-7 years. Then 2004 happened.
“2004, the best Christmas yet, a World Series ring”. Yes, I just quoted that song by the band Fricken A. David Ortiz became Señor October or something like that, and the Sox became a staple in my life. Yes, I admit at times I was a fair-weather fan, but I also was checking the box score to see how Ortiz was doing.
Truth be told, one my favorite Ortiz moment is not actually a walk-off home run or some late game heroics. It comes from a game with Baltimore in 2011, the Sox are smoking the O’s 10-3, and Ortiz steps up to the plate with a man on third and 1 out. Kevin Gregg(the Orioles pitcher) throws 3 fastballs inside on Ortiz, and Ortiz is fuming. Ortiz pops one out to shallow right, and as Don Orsillo says it, “Ortiz is going out and it times to fight”. Both men don’t even come close to landing a punch. But Ortiz going out there to defend himself, after Gregg taunted and threw at him was awesome. Ortiz also winds up for this haymaker and just misses, if he connects on it then I think Gregg may have been put into a coma. Video below, its an awesome watch.
Ortiz had a knack for taking a ball and depositing it on the moon in the clutch and well whenever he pleased at times. What I will miss most is that never say die attitude. Ortiz brought that to the clubhouse and made sure that everyone was on the same page. Ortiz the next Red Sox manager? I don’t know but imagine a coaching staff of him, Jason Varitek and Pedro Martinez. In the words of Lebron James, “Not 5, not 6, not 7”. Hey a man can dream can’t he?
David Ortiz is no longer an active player. But will forever in out hearts be the greatest Red Sox player of the modern era. Man, this year we lose a 34 to retirement and then next year we lose the other great 34 in Boston sport lore. Tough year I guess. But both of those 34’s will be retired, and man will that be awesome.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up at almost every Ortiz highlight video I saw on twitter. They were awesome, especially the one narrated by Kevin Spacey. That poem coincided with the career of Ortiz perfectly. It was just one of those things the minute you see it you get tears in your eyes. The final farwell, well I was tearing up big time, and well pretty much cried like a baby. It was something that many believed may not have happened because of the idea of upstaging the Indians victory. But I bet Terry Francona and Coco Crisp watched that moment from the opposing dugout just for a minute. It was the big of a deal.
Thank you again David, it was a fun ride.