11 p.m.: It’s all over at Fenway. The Red Sox win 5-3 on the back of Ortiz, who finishes 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
Not a bad way to kick off the final regular-season series of your career.
10:55 p.m.: Well, that was fast. Big Papi already managed to meet up with the guy who caught his home run ball.
10:22 p.m.: The Fenway crowd wants Ortiz to come out for a curtain call, and he finally steps out of the dugout to tip his cap.
10:20 p.m.: You can’t make this stuff up.
Ortiz just launched a line-drive, two-run homer to right field, breaking the tie and putting Boston up 5-3. Incredible.
10:17 p.m.: Big Papi is up in another big spot — a tie game with a runner on first in the seventh inning. “Papi!” chants are emanating from the crowd.
9:28 p.m.: Ortiz hits a scorching line drive to right field, but Jose Bautista makes a nice running catch before the warning track to prevent any more Big Papi heroics. Ortiz is 1-for-3 with an RBI through five innings.
9:25 p.m.: For the third time tonight, Ortiz is up with a runner on second and two outs. Does he have some more magic in him?
8:45 p.m.: The Red Sox also are paying tribute to Big Papi in a pretty cool way on their videoboard.
They’re also doing so for the Blue Jays players. Center fielder Kevin Pillar was just seven years old when Ortiz made his debut.
8:40 p.m: Ortiz once again comes to the plate with a runner on second base in the third inning, but this time, he can’t deliver.
His hot shot up the middle caroms off Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada, who recovers to grab the ball and throws out Ortiz at first to end the inning.
8:05 p.m.: That hit broke an 0-for-10 slump for Ortiz, who was hitless in the team’s three-game series against the New York Yankees. Looks like he was just saving those hits for the Fenway Faithful.
8:01 p.m.: Because he’s one of the greatest clutch hitters ever, Ortiz rises to the occasion.
He slaps a single to left field that scores Brock Holt from second base and puts the Red Sox up 1-0. As expected, Fenway goes nuts.
7:56 p.m.: Here comes Big Papi for his last first at-bat of a regular season series. (Or something like that). Ortiz gets a huge ovation from the crowd, as everyone is out of their seats.
7:35 p.m.: Ortiz catches the ceremonial first pitch from a teenager from his native Dominican Republic, who fires it well off the mark. But Big Papi tracks the ball down and gives the youngster a big hug anyway. Can’t win ’em all.
After one final Ortiz montage, we’re ready for some baseball.
7:25 p.m.: As expected, the Red Sox kept tonight’s pregame ceremony for Ortiz pretty short given the inclement weather. He’s posing for pictures for a throng of photographers outside the Red Sox’s dugout.
7:15 p.m.: Ortiz jogs out onto the field to chants of “Papi! Papi!” from the Fenway crowd. He’s presented with a painting from artist Peter Max.
7:10 p.m.: Tonight’s ceremony for Ortiz begins with a video montage focusing on his work with the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which is credited with saving 563 young lives.
7:01 p.m.: The tarp is off at Fenway, with first pitch now scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET. Preparations are beginning for Ortiz’s pregame ceremony, which should get underway in the next few minutes.
6:47 p.m.: Tonight’s game has been delayed, the Red Sox announced. There’s no word yet on how long the delay is or how that will impact the Ortiz festivities. Stay tuned.
6:45 p.m.: A pregame ceremony for Ortiz is expected to get underway shortly, but Mother Nature might alter those plans.
6:23 p.m.: Ortiz spent a good 30 minutes talking to reporters in a pregame press conference, fielding questions in both English and Spanish.
A notable point of discussion: Ortiz admitted these pregame ceremonies have made it difficult for him to focus on the field, and while he’ll enjoy this weekend, he’s looking forward to a postseason free of those distractions.
6 p.m. ET: The curtain is closing on David Ortiz’s storied career. In the regular season, that is.
The Boston Red Sox slugger will play the final three regular-season games of his career against the Toronto Blue Jays, beginning Friday night at a rain-soaked Fenway Park.
Preparations already began with Ortiz’s likeness being mowed into the Red Sox’s outfield. A tarp still is covering the infield amid steady rain, but that shouldn’t put a damper on what should be a festive weekend at Fenway.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images