BOSTON — There never will be another player like David Ortiz, and the Red Sox are making sure of that.
The team announced Sunday ahead of Ortiz’s final regular-season game that it will retire Big Papi’s No. 34 next season. Needless to say, the Fenway Park crowd reacted very kindly to the news.
Only nine players in Red Sox history currently have their number retired by the club: Bobby Doerr (No. 1), Joe Cronin (No. 4), Johnny Pesky (No. 6), Carl Yazstremski (No. 8), Ted Williams (No. 9), Jim Rice (No. 14), Wade Boggs (No. 26), Carlton Fisk (No. 27) and Pedro Martinez (No. 45). Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 also is retired throughout baseball.
The Red Sox most recently retired Boggs’ number in May, but Ortiz’s number retirement by far will be the quickest of any former player. He certainly has earned the honor, though, as manager John Farrell said Sunday that the 40-year-old designated hitter arguably is the most important player in franchise history.
“With no disrespect to the greats that have worn this uniform, I think what we’ve seen over the past 14, 15 years, the way this franchise has elevated itself — there may be no more important player ever in this organization,” Farrell said before the Red Sox’s Sunday game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
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