David Ortiz was the 12th Red Sox player to don No. 34 and, according to the team, he’ll also be the last. Prior to Sunday’s matinee against the Blue Jays, which the Red Sox have to win in order to compete for home-field advantage in the ALDS, the team announced their intention to retire Ortiz’s number in 2017.
It’s a fitting cap to an incredible final year for the 40-year-old slugger. He enters Sunday with a league-best 1.028 OPS and .625 slugging percentage, accentuated with the most doubles in the majors (48) and the most RBI in the American League (127). Ortiz is batting .317/.404/.625, the highest marks he’s achieved in a full season since 2007, and his 38 home runs put him at four consecutive seasons with at least 30 homers.
Ortiz will be the 10th Red Sox legend to have a number retired at Fenway Park, joining the ranks of noted players like Bobby Doerr, Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Carlton Fisk, and Pedro Martinez. The team also announced the renaming of two prominent avenues close to the ballpark: David Ortiz Drive and David Ortiz “Big Papi” Bridge, the latter of which will replace Brookline Avenue Bridge over the Massachusetts Turnpike.
You can watch the club’s pregame tribute to Ortiz below:
[mlbvideo id=”1200418583″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]