Fenway Park was nothing short of emotional after Boston Red Sox legend, David Ortiz, made his first public appearance since being shot in the Dominican Republic in June. The long time first baseman threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate, Jason Varitek. To no surprise, the crowd gave Ortiz a standing ovation. He had the chance to speak to the crowd.
"I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity to be here with all of you. Thank you very much Red Sox family," Ortiz said.
"I want to thank all of you for all the prayers. All of them came home. I want to thank my former teammates for being there for me, also," he continued. "I want to thank the Yankees, a lot of my boys over there came to check up on Big Papi, I appreciate it. CC [Sabathia], [Edwin] Encarnacion, all y’all man.”
David Ortiz threw out the first pitch to Jason Varitek at Fenway Park 🙏
It's his first public appearance since he was shot in the Dominican Republic in June. pic.twitter.com/Ep6m6pDFXk— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 9, 2019
David Ortiz arrives at Fenway it throw out the first pitch tonight! pic.twitter.com/xrJWnwp1F0— Jonathan Hall (@JHall7news) September 9, 2019
Papi’s home. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3VPSVACZQV— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 9, 2019
Ortiz was shot while at a bar in his home country. Reports came out that it was a paid hit, but it was later revealed that Ortiz was not the one the bullets were intended for. There has yet to be an official motive or reasoning behind the incident. Ortiz spent up to six hours in surgery before being flown to Massachusetts for further treatment in Boston.
His wife, Tiffany Ortiz, was also in attendance at Fenway for his big moment. The two are sitting next to the dugout.
The Red Sox are taking on their biggest rival, the New York Yankees, in a makeup game as a result of a rain postponement earlier in the season. The Red Sox find themselves outside of the playoff picture with just a few weeks to go in the season. Meanwhile, the Yankees boast one of the best records in baseball.