Imagine if David Ortiz never came to Boston. What if the Red Sox didn’t take a chance on a young, struggling, David Ortiz? Would 2004 have happened? What about 2007 or 2013? We may never know, because David Ortiz did come to Boston, and it was the greatest thing that I have ever witnessed.
Sure, as fans we will remember all the clutch moments that David Ortiz provided. The walk-offs in 2004 and even the game tying grand slam in 2013 against the Tigers. But, for the sake of this article, let’s forget about all that.
Let’s forget all the stats. Forget about the 541 career home runs. Forget about the 2,472 hits. Forget about the 1,768 RBIs, the 632 doubles, the OPS of .931 and yes, let’s even forget about his 17 stolen bases. Forget about the 10 all-star games and the 7 silver sluggers.
Forget about the 88 playoff hits, the 17 playoff home runs and the 61 RBIs. Forget about the .404 OBP and the .947 OPS. Forget 2004, 2007 and 2013. Forget about his postseason MVPs. Forget about it all. Because David Ortiz was more than just a great statistcal baseball player. He was more than that to the city of Boston.
Remeber that David Ortiz was larger than life in Boston and he loved it. But he also loved this city, too and he showed it. After the tragedy in 2013 with the marathon, who was there to comfort not just the fans at Fenway, but all of Boston? Who was the guy to grab the mic and to tell them that no act of terrorism will dictate our freedom? Who, in front of thousands, said to the people of Boston, “This is our fuckin’ city.” He didn’t say your city, he said OUR city, because to him, he was a Bostonian and this was his city. I can’t imagine any other person who, in that situation, would have been that emotional, came up with those words and would have had a bigger impact than David Ortiz. No one could.
Let’s remember all the work he did off the field. Let’s remember is Ortiz Children Fund. Let’s not forget the joy he brought to a little boy named Maverick whose dream was to meet David Ortiz. And in Big Papi fashion, he delivered. Not only just to meet maverick, but to befriend him. Not just to sign an autograph and leave, but to spend the whole day with him. I want people to remember that David Ortiz.
We may be able to retire David Ortiz’s number so that no one can bear the 34, but we can never retire the person he was to Boston, and still, no one will ever be that meaningful to one city. Every time I look up and see that 34 hanging there, I’ll remember all that David Ortiz has done for the city of Boston. Yeah, I’ll catch myself wishing for just one more at bat from the large father, but i’ll be satisfied knowing that he gave it his all to this city, until his feet could no longer walk. I can’t wait until the day I tell my future kids about David Ortiz and constantly use the phrase, “You should of seen it.” Because the only way to describe what David Ortiz meant to the city of Boston, was to see it unfold before your eyes.
What David Ortiz has done for the city of Boston is beyond any amount of praise I can give him.
So, Thank you, Big Papi for every thing you have done. No ceremony can come close to fully giving you the thanks you deserve. From your clutch moments in the playoffs, to your off the field work and for the love you have for this city.
Your loving, always hugging, always smiling, larger than life personality will forever be remembered in Boston, along with other great moments you gave Red Sox nation. I’m just one of the lucky ones who got to witness it.
Boston will love you forever, Big Papi. Don’t be a stranger.