In honor of David Ortiz having his No. 34 retired by the Red Sox, MLB.com and John Hancock are celebrating Big Papi's greatest career moments with the "Papi 10 List," counting down one legendary moment each day leading up to the June 23 pregame ceremony at Fenway Park.David Ortiz's World
In honor of David Ortiz having his No. 34 retired by the Red Sox, MLB.com and John Hancock are celebrating Big Papi's greatest career moments with the "Papi 10 List," counting down one legendary moment each day leading up to the June 23 pregame ceremony at Fenway Park.
David Ortiz's World Series hit parade for the ages against the St. Louis Cardinals was finally over. The 2013 championship trophy was secured. But the crowd anticipation was building for the MVP of the Fall Classic to be announced, and for Big Papi to once again speak to his fans.
After all, Ortiz's 2013 season had started with his words, so it was only fitting for it to end that way.
On April 20, the same day Ortiz was activated from the disabled list, the Red Sox were playing their first home game since the tragic Boston Marathon bombings that took place five days earlier. Ortiz took the microphone during pregame ceremonies and helped unify a city that day with some choice words.
• Papi 10 List: Ortiz's greatest moments
And six months later, he was ready to celebrate with a community that was in a much more festive mood.
"First of all, I want to say this is for you, Boston," Ortiz roared to the crowd. "You guys deserve it. We've been through a lot this year and this is for all of you and all those families who struggled with that bombing earlier this year. This is for all of you."
This time, no earmuffs were required.
"Should I keep it clean? This is our bleep City!" Ortiz said to a packed and loud late-night crowd at Fenway. "First of all, I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to stay healthy this year and to have such a fun year. We had a great time, this town. We struggled earlier this year with the situation that all of us went through. Thanks to Him, we keep ourselves together, and here we are, enjoying the time."
Though this was the third World Series championship for Ortiz's Red Sox, it was the first one the franchise had clinched at Fenway Park since 1918.
Ortiz took his Mr. Clutch act to another level in October 2013. Down four runs and in danger of falling behind 2-0 in the American League Championship Series, Ortiz smashed an iconic grand slam to tie the game against the Tigers. Boston won the ALCS in six games.
In the World Series, Ortiz was almost otherworldly, hitting .688 (11-for-16) with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs.
Coming off a last-place finish in 2012, the reversal of the Red Sox a year later was stunning.
"I knew it would be a special year," Ortiz said. "When we started rolling, nobody ever stopped the train."
While the fans of Boston were thanking Ortiz with their sustained applause, he wanted to turn it back to them.
"I want to thank the best fans in baseball. Without you guys' support, I don't think we'd be where we are right now," said Ortiz. "You guys are the greatest of all time. I'm so proud to play for this city. I want to thank my teammates -- the best teammates ever. You guys are legit. Nobody can ever hold us down."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.