BOSTON -- Number 34 -- which David Ortiz has worn proudly on the back of his uniform for the last 14 seasons in Boston -- will never be donned by another Red Sox player.During Ortiz's already powerful Sunday ceremony to recognize the impending end to his career, the Red Sox
BOSTON -- Number 34 -- which David Ortiz has worn proudly on the back of his uniform for the last 14 seasons in Boston -- will never be donned by another Red Sox player.
During Ortiz's already powerful Sunday ceremony to recognize the impending end to his career, the Red Sox surprised their slugger with the announcement that No. 34 will go on the right-field facade of Fenway Park during a ceremony prior to a game next season.
"No idea that was going to happen," said Ortiz. "No clue. Everything was great. Everything was very special. Everything went better than perfect."
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Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice, two of the players who have their numbers retired at Fenway, came onto the field to greet Ortiz and congratulate him on the honor.
Ortiz played his final regular-season game at Fenway Park on Sunday, a 2-1 Red Sox loss, and he will start his final postseason run for Boston on Thursday in the American League Division Series on the road against the Indians.
Number 34 will join 1 (Bobby Doerr), 4 (Joe Cronin), 6 (Johnny Pesky), 8 (Yaz), 14 (Rice), 26 (Wade Boggs), 27 (Carlton Fisk) and 45 (Pedro Martinez) as the only ones retired by the Red Sox. Jackie Robinson's No. 42 is retired by all 30 Major League teams, and also hangs on the facade at Fenway.
Ortiz is the first player in Red Sox history who will have his number retired within a year after his career coming to an end.
In addition, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that the bridge over Mass Pike on Brookline Ave. will be called the "Big Papi" Bridge. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that "David Ortiz Drive" will be the new name of the street that intersects with the commuter rail station near Fenway Park.
"I just want to thank everybody that was involved in it, everybody that did something for it. It was very special," said Ortiz.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.