Boston stars come out to wish Ortiz farewell
BOSTON (AP) Hockey great Bobby Orr, NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippett and the entire current Boston Celtics roster joined David Ortiz on the field at Fenway Park on Saturday night to help celebrate Big Papi on his way into retirement.
The ceremony before the Red Sox played Toronto also featured former patients at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, who Ortiz helped through his work for the Jimmy Fund. And Boston Marathon bombing victims also joined the sports stars on the field to thank Ortiz for his defiant and inspirational speech following the 2013 finish line attacks.
The basketball players all wore Celtics jerseys with Ortiz's No. 34. Many of them asked the Red Sox designated hitter to sign their shirts, and several posed for selfies with him.
Ortiz has said he will retire at the end of the season, and the Red Sox planned celebrations for the final weekend series at Fenway. Friday night's ceremony included beneficiaries of the David Ortiz Children's Fund; Sunday is expected to feature Ortiz's former teammates.
AT THE PLATE
As they have much of the season, the Fenway fans rose to a standing ovation when Ortiz came to the plate in the first. With a runner on first, he worked the count full against J.A. Happ and drew a walk.
It was the 1,319th walk of Ortiz's career, tying him with Tony Phillips for 40th on baseball's career list.
Ortiz was tagged out going from first to second when Mookie Betts followed with a grounder.
Ortiz grounded out in the second inning with two on and two out, hitting a grounder that got under the glove of shifted shortstop Troy Tulowitzki but was grabbed in shallow right by Devon Travis.
In the fifth, Ortiz singled on a line drive to right and was replaced by a pinch hitter. He tipped his helmet to the cheering crowd as he left the diamond.
Ortiz put on his own show on Friday, when he hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning to lead the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays.
It was the 39th time in his career that Ortiz homered in the seventh inning or later, 36 of them with Boston.
''On a night that begins a weekend celebration, I don't know that you can write a script for what David did here tonight offensively,'' manager John Farrell said after the game. ''Nights like tonight he almost leaves you speechless. … (He) turned this place upside down.''