Ortiz, introduced on the public-address system as a symbol of “resilience, strength, triumph and love,” ran up the steps from the dugout to the field, appearing strong and healthy, before throwing a pitch to former teammate Jason Varitek.
…”I want to thank you for all for your prayers, all of them came home,” he told the crowd.
Ortiz also thanked his former Red Sox teammates for their visits and support, as well as some players on the Yankees who had come to see him as he was convalescing.
…Ortiz, known as Big Papi, was a 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series winner with the Red Sox from 2003 through 2016, thrilling fans with late-game dramatics in the postseason. A street across from Fenway Park has been named for the slugger.
He further endeared himself to the fans with his heartfelt and profane speech at Fenway Park days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, urging the city to be “Boston Strong.”