The Boston Red Sox have announced that David Ortiz’s number 34 will be retired in a ceremony on June 23, at Fenway Park.
Ortiz’s number will be the tenth to officially be retired by the Red Sox, following Bobby Doerr (1); Joe Cronin (4); Jonny Pesky (6); Carl Yastrzemski (8); Ted Williams (9); Jim Rice (14); Wade Boggs (26); Carlton Fisk (27); Pedro Martinez (45) and Jackie Robinson (42), as all of Major League Baseball has. The Sox have a few “unofficial” retired numbers — Roger Clemens (21); Jason Varitek (33); and Tim Wakefield (49) — which have not been issued to any other players since those players left Boston.
The Sox used to have some strict rules about number retiring, doing so only for players who made the Hall of Fame, played in Boston for at least a decade and ended their career in Boston. They have made several exceptions to that rule in recent years, for good reason. Ortiz will, in all likelihood, have fulfilled even the old requirements if the Sox were to have waited for five years, but as it is, doing so now is eminently appropriate.