Red Sox will retire David Ortiz' No. 34 next year

Alyssa BaileyOct 08, 2016

The Red Sox designated hitter was honored ahead of his final regular-season game ever in a special pregame ceremony that included the club announcing it will retire his number next season and the state of MA dedicating a bridge in his honor.

"I wasn't ready to go home", he said after the Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1 in the regular season finale on Sunday to claim the AL's top wild-card berth. Walking off the field after making the second out in the ninth, Ortiz tapped the bill of his cap.

"There may be no more important player, " Red Sox manager John Farrell said, "ever in the organization". "Even in my mind, there's maybe an unfair expectation that when he doesn't hit a ball out of the ballpark in key moments, you're like, 'Damn why didn't he do it?' That's the expectation that he's created".

It's a likely preview of when Ortiz's number is retired and hung from the facade in right field.

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The man affectionately known as "Big Papi" has put together a resume worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, hitting.286 with 541 home runs - 17th most all-time - and 1,768 RBIs. Mookie Betts doubled and Hanley Ramirez walked to lead off the Red Sox eighth, leading the Blue Jays to turn to closer Roberto Osuna for a six-out save.

Kevin Pillar went 2-for-3 with three RBI, and the Blue Jays held off the Red Sox 4-3 on Saturday.

The flag of the Dominican Republic was dropped over the Green Monster and the country's anthem played. Somebody looked into it and came back and said, 'You're never going to believe this, but that's like the one bridge in Boston that has no name.' And we're like, 'Well, we have an idea.' And our colleagues in the legislature jumped on board.

As the Red Sox commemorated Ortiz's career on the field, Gov. Charlie Baker walked onto the field holding a sign for the bridge, with the MA state seal.

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First, the Brookline Avenue bridge spanning the Massachusetts Turnpike (between Lansdowne and Newbury streets) behind Fenway Park will be named David Ortiz "Big Papi" Bridge.

"I nearly dropped to both knees", he said after the game, "but it was going to be hard getting up".

The Red Sox begin the playoffs on Thursday in Cleveland. "I've seen it for 10 years".

Sanchez (15-2) limited Boston to a run and two hits over seven innings.

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The June 9, 1946, homer is commemorated by a single red seat in the right field bleachers. He already had that relationship with the Latin players, but I think it really extended to guys from everywhere.

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