David Ortiz honored for reaching 500-homer milestone
By Nick Cafardo
David Ortiz said he would take winning a World Series any day over hitting 500 home runs. But with no chance at the Fall Classic this season, he was honored by the Red Sox before Monday night’s 8-7 win against the Rays for reaching the 500-homer milestone in Tampa Bay Sept. 12.
Ortiz, who was making his first appearance at Fenway Park since the milestone, would have loved to have done it at home, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Teammates as well Tampa Bay players applauded Ortiz. The Red Sox gave Ortiz a plaque denoting all of his 500 homers and a pair of LL Bean boots presented by third base coach Brian Butterfield. Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh, proclaimed it David Ortiz Day, and a video by the president of the Dominican Republic was shown.
Topping the gift list was a white QX80 Lexus SUV, with former teammates Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, and Pedro Martinez coming out of the car. Varitek introduced Ortiz, who said a few words to the crowd.
The ceremony also featured Red Sox owner John Henry (who also owns the Globe) and his wife Linda, chairman Tom Werner, outgoing president/CEO Larry Lucchino, and president Sam Kennedy.
“It’s home and I wish I could have [done it] here. It’s not that simple. It’s not how that works. Happy to be at home. Happy that Red Sox had a ceremony for me,” Ortiz said before the festivities.