BOSTON (AP) — With three giant World Series banners laid across the outfield grass, three championship trophies on a table and his Hall of Fame plaque hanging behind him, David Ortiz basked in the welcome of the Fenway fans on Tuesday, two days after he was inducted in Cooperstown.
Thanking those who helped him throughout his career — many of them seated in folding chairs along the first- and third-base lines — Ortiz took the field to chants of “Papi!” and told the crowd before the slumping Red Sox played the Cleveland Guardians: “The good luck charm just arrived.”
Ortiz took his spot near the pitcher’s mound where, nine years ago, he rallied the residents after the Boston Marathon bombing by proclaiming, “This is our (expletive) city!” Red Sox Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice joined him for this celebration, as did Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero — fellow Cooperstown inductees from the Dominican Republic.
“It’s amazing everything that happened this past week,” Ortiz said from a podium festooned with his No. 34. “Thank you very much, Boston. Here’s your son. I love you forever.”
Ex-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein took a seat on the first-base side, with former managers Terry Francona, who managed the 2004 and ‘07 World Series championship teams, and John Farrell, who was in the dugout for the ’13 championship.
Teammates Tim Wakefield, Xander Bogaerts, Trot Nixon, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Alex Cora came out for the honorary first pitch, and Jason Varitek was behind the plate to catch it. After the ceremony, Francona headed over to the visitor’s dugout to manage the Guardians, and Cora went back to the home dugout to take his place with the Red Sox.
“Just to be watching him, you know, be so proud of him, of what he’s accomplished,” Francona said…