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.”
While the parade itself went without major incident, some protesters clashed after the event with the hundreds of police officers. The event resulted in 36 arrests and criticism of officers’ use of force, including pepper spray, to disperse the crowd.
…“While I am a firm believer in free speech, I’m not okay with wasting tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars for a group to come into Boston from out of state to create chaos and spread hate,” the District 4 councilor wrote on social media Tuesday.
…The second-term Democrat added that she had received complaints from constituents who were “disturbed and upset by the way some officers responded” and planned to share their messages with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner William Gross.
Walsh and company played right into the hands of the parade organizers. Any use of force or waste of resources was exactly their plan/ In the end, BoPo (again!) showed its true colors as a group of lawless armed thugs and city leadership got played like a fiddle.