There is a new street outside Fenway Park — David Ortiz Drive — and it says that the illustrious designated hitter will always have a home in Boston, said Tom Werner, chairman of the Boston Red Sox.
“There is so many reasons you are deserving of this honor, beginning with the three World Series trophies we would not have had without your contribution,” Werner said.
As Ortiz walked up to the stage many in the crowd started clapping and yelling his nickname “Big Papi.”
Ortiz, who played 14 seasons with the Red Sox, was a 10-time all-star and named the most valuable player during the 2013 World Series.
Ortiz accepted his latest honor early Thursday afternoon as Yawkey Way Extension was renamed for him in a ceremony outside Fenway Park, saying he was thankful to have had an effect during his time in Boston.
“I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to be part of this wonderful city,” Ortiz said. “Boston has been the city that I have shared all kinds and sorts of emotions with. Boston basically has been just like my hometown, the Dominican Republic.”
The crowd of fans who gathered to see him honored included young baseball and softball players from nearby schools.
“But perhaps the most important reason [the honor is deserved] is reflected by the presence of these young athletes at this ceremony,” said Werner. “You have been and you will continue to be a inspiration.”
Ortiz’s No. 34 will be retired during Friday’s Red Sox game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh said that Ortiz was there for the city when it needed someone to lean on in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“In one of our darkest moments as a city somebody [Ortiz] was there for us a couple days later,” he said “That lifted us right up.”
Kiesha Santana , 18, plays softball for John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. Her family is from the Dominican Republic, like Ortiz. She said he is a role model for many, but especially for Boston’s Dominican population.
“When you see someone do it, you’re like, “Oh, I can do it too, especially because we come from pretty much the same background, morals, and values,” she said.