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Say It Isn’t So, Big Papi Set To Retire?


On November 17th, Yankees fans rejoiced at the news that they only have to deal with Big Papi hitting home runs all the time for one more season! David Ortiz announced that he will be officially retiring at the end of the 2016 season. In a video he posted on The Players’ Tribune website, he stated “Every single one of us, athletes-wise, we run out of time at some point. Life is based on different chapters and I think I’m ready to experience the next one in my life.” He announced this on his 40th birthday, which is a common age to hang up the jersey.

On November 17th, Yankees fans rejoiced at the news that they only have to deal with Big Papi hitting home runs all the time for one more season! David Ortiz announced that he will be officially retiring at the end of the 2016 season. In a video he posted on The Players’ Tribune website, he stated “Every single one of us, athletes-wise, we run out of time at some point. Life is based on different chapters and I think I’m ready to experience the next one in my life.” He announced this on his 40th birthday, which is a common age to hang up the jersey.


big papi

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Though, Papi has been playing very well in his late 30’s, which is why the retirement came to be a bit of a shock. Just last season, he hit 37 home runs and 108 RBI’s, breaking his own record since 2007. Not bad for a 39-year-old designated hitter! Ortiz will be retiring after 20 seasons (14 with the Boston Red Sox) with three World Series rings, unless of course the Red Sox happen to win another one for him this year.

Sam Kennedy, the Red Sox president, described him as “one of the game’s greatest players — and greatest champions — and he has been there for the city of Boston through thick and thin every step of the way. He has been a pillar of our team and a pillar of our city.” It is time to say goodbye to Big Papi!


Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

The last two star players to retire in MLB were from the rival team but David Ortiz says he doesn’t expect as big of a farewell tour like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera had. “Those guys are well-deserved. I didn’t announce my retirement because I was expecting any of it. I announced it because I know our fans have a hard time getting into Fenway and I know that they would love to watch me play in my last season.” Whether or not you consider him a legend like Jeter and Mariano, Big Papi is still very well-known in baseball and even feared, as he steps up to plate.

That is why, as he gives his last games in stadiums around the country, teams are giving him a proper farewell. The retirement celebration began on April 11th, in none other than Fenway Park, when Boston sports legends Bobby Orr, Bill Russell, and Ty Law came to honor his last home opener. Ortiz got a well deserved standing ovation but what really made him emotional was when his 14-year-old daughter surprised him by singing the National Anthem.


Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The first farewell was in the Houston Astro’s field where he received a custom-made black Stetson cowboy hat on April 22nd. Two days later, he played his last game with the American League team. The next stop on the farewell tour will be on May 22nd in Cleveland where Big Papi will play the Indians for the last time. What is significant about this game is that it will be Ortiz’s last time playing against Terry Francona, who was the former Red Sox manager for eight seasons.

On June 12th, the left-handed hitter will play his former team for the last time. Before being signed by the Red Sox in 2003, Ortiz played for the Minnesota Twins for six seasons. I bet they still regret letting him go! A month later, Papi will have his last All-Star game if he gets named!


Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Another important date in the farewell tour is September 29th when the most feared player will play his final game against his rivals. The Red Sox and Yankees have so much history together (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and David Ortiz has definitely gotten his fair share of boos when visiting the Bronx. Yet, Boston gave a proper sendoff to Derek Jeter and Mariano so fans will respect him as they wave goodbye, but Yankees fans will definitely be happy that they don’t have to fear his home runs anymore!

Although there is always a chance Boston will head into the postseason, for now, Big Papi will be playing his final game on October 2nd in Fenway Park. If the goodbye is anything like Derek’s and Mariano’s then it will be tearful but honorable. As a Yankees fan, I tip my hat to you, Big Papi. Enjoy your retirement!

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