NEW YORK (AFP) – Dominican slugger David Ortiz, who helped the Boston Red Sox end an 86-year title drought with three World Series triumphs, will have his jersey number retired next season, the Major League Baseball club announced Thursday.
Ortiz, nicknamed “Big Papi,” will have his number 34 jersey retired in a ceremony before the Red Sox’s June 23 home game against the Los Angeles Angels at historic Fenway Park.
The 10-time All-Star retired after the 2016 campaign after 20 major league seasons, starting with the Minnesota Twins from 1997 through 2002 before joining the Red Sox in 2003.
Ortiz is Major League Baseball’s all-time leader among designated hitters in games played, hits, doubles, home runs, extra-base hits and runs batted in and leads the Red Sox in nearly every major batting category.
His jersey number will become the 11th to hang on the right-field facade at Fenway, joining such Boston icons as Carl Yastrzemski (8), Ted Williams (9), Jim Rice (14), Wade Boggs 26), Carlton Fisk (27) and Pedro Martinez (45) as well as Jackie Robinson (42), the first African-American major leaguer whose number has been retired by every team.
With Ortiz providing power at the plate, the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, 2007 and 2013. He was named Most Valuable Player of the 2013 World Series.
In his final season, Ortiz batted .315 with 38 homers and drove in 127 runs.
Ortiz smashed 483 total homers with the Red Sox, second on the club’s all-time list behind the 521 of Williams. Ortiz finished with 2,079 hits with 1,204 runs scored and 1,530 runs batted in for the Red Sox.
Over two decades, Ortiz finished with 2,472 hits, 541 homers and 1,768 runs batted in.