David Ortiz throws bad ceremonial first pitch

Perhaps the biggest Boston athlete over the last decade and a half, maybe even bigger than Tom Brady himself, is Red Sox legend David Ortiz, who retired after the 2016 season. When I first really started paying attention to baseball on a day-to-day basis, it was 2003 and it was Big Papi’s first year in Boston.Ortiz retired at the age of 40 past year.Oh, and an unforgettable ALCS MVP performance in 2004 against the New York Yankees to help lead the Boston Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years.A red banner covered up Ortiz’s No. 34 in right field, on the facade of the grandstand, until it was dropped down as Ortiz, his family, Red Sox ownership and others who have been immortalized in Fenway lore looked on.In honor of Ortiz’s primary position with the Red Sox, the speakers were called “designated roasters”.”Man, the little guy”, Ortiz said, referring to Pedroia. “I remember hitting batting practice on this field, I always was trying to hit those numbers”.Martinez said while Ortiz is “Big Papi”, he felt like grandpa while watching Ortiz being honored. This will be the eleventh number that has been retired up on the Fenway Park façade and the third in the last three seasons.”I hit the No. 1 once”, Ortiz said.But it was Ortiz’s defiant speech after the Boston Marathon bombings that cemented him as a civic hero and helped prompt the Red Sox to retire his number less than a year after he retired.”When I chose to wear that number, I was proud of wearing it because of the person that I was wearing it for”, Ortiz said.Fittingly, Ortiz would note those numbers in right field at Fenway Park held special significance to him during his playing days. To be honest with you, I never thought I’d have a chance to hit the ball out there.Himself a fan favorite in New England, Edelman tweeted out a photo of the David Ortiz street sign and offered up some encouragement on Friday. The Red Sox kick off their series against the visiting Los Angeles Angels with defending Cy Young award victor Rick Porcello on the mound Friday.And now, No. 34 is right there with them for a future slugger to take aim.