In final game at Yankee Stadium, Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz honoured by rival New York Yankees
Yankees hold ceremony for Ortiz who is retiring at end of season on October 2
David Ortiz was presented an oil painting of himself and a leather-bound book with handwritten letters from current and former Yankees during a pre-game ceremony Thursday night to mark his final game in the Bronx.
Accompanied by wife Tiffany, daughter Alexandra and son D’Angelo, Ortiz was given the book by retired Yankees pitcher David Cone and current New York outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, a former Boston teammate.
Retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera came out and exchanged a hug with Ortiz, then helped him unveil the Justyn Farano painting, which depicts Ortiz standing at the plate and tipping his cap to the Yankee Stadium crowd.
Ortiz waved his hat to the crowd, which stood and applauded during the just-over-5-minute ceremony. As Ortiz left the field, the sound system played Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” a Red Sox fan favourite.
When the ceremony began, Yankee Stadium public address announcer Paul Olden inadvertently told the crowd 2017 marks Ortiz’s final season before listing many of his accomplishments.
Ortiz wore yellow New Balance spikes with a black-and-white N on the logo, evoking a New York City taxi.
Separately, Massachusetts officials are moving to name a bridge in honour of retiring Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
The House of Representatives has approved a supplemental budget that includes language that would rename the Brookline Avenue Bridge the David Ortiz (Big Papi) Bridge.
The bridge spans the Massachusetts Turnpike between Landsdowne Street and Newbury Street, near Fenway Park.
Ortiz is in his final season with the playoff-bound Red Sox.
Lawmakers say the honour would recognise his accomplishments on and off the field. They note his charitable work on behalf of children in New England and his native Dominican Republic and his efforts after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing to help the city heal.
The House passed the bill during an informal session on Thursday. The bill now goes to the Senate.