David Ortiz wants the Derek Jeter treatment.
Ortiz watched in 2014 as Boston Red Sox fans showered Derek Jeter with cheers during the longtime New York Yankees shortstop’s final moments at Fenway Park. Now, with Ortiz set to retire after the 2016 season, the Red Sox slugger can’t help but wonder whether he’ll receive similar treatment in the Bronx.
“You know what I want most of all?” Ortiz told the New York Post on Tuesday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. “I would love it if the fans at Yankee Stadium gave me a standing ovation.”
Ortiz has had some big moments against the Yankees throughout his career. His biggest, of course, came in 2004 when Ortiz — in just his second season with the Red Sox — had two walk-off hits in the American League Championship Series as Boston overcame a 3-0 series deficit en route to the club’s first World Series title in 86 years.
“The Yankees were the team to beat back then,” Ortiz told The Post, looking back on the Red Sox’s improbable comeback. “Being able to do what we did was something that was very special. It was career-lifting for me. People get to know you better, focus on you a little more. If you continue to be successful, you can build a career out of it.”
Ortiz sure built a heck of a career off that 2004 postseason performance — a career that includes three World Series titles to date — but as he prepares to call it quits after this season, will Yankees fans look past the rivalry and acknowledge Big Papi’s greatness in their own backyard?
Stranger things have happened.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz
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