A Boston-style hero’s celebration was held to honor retiring Red Sox player, David Ortiz, at Fort Myers’ JetBlue Park in March. Ortiz made his mark in the sports world by helping in a huge way the Red Sox win 3 world series—2004, 2007 and 2013.
It was a sad day for baseball fans but for Ortiz, it was lots of grins and smiles as he became the proud recipient of several prestigious honors and prizes, including his own street in Fort Myers! The Red Sox also painted the grass in foul territory with Ortiz’s No. 34 and there was a sign over the faux Green Monster that read, “THANK YOU, DAVID.” The 40-year-old slugger has spent every one of his spring trainings in Fort Myers, first with the Minnesota Twins and then, starting in 2003, with the Red Sox. Fittingly, Ortiz was presented with three stadium seats, one each from Hammond Stadium (the Twins home), City of Palms Park (former Red Sox home) and JetBlue Park.
Following the ceremony and after thanking Fort Myers, “an amazing city”, Ortiz rode off in his new and speedy golf cart painted red and blue with a No. 34 on the side and the Dominican flag on the roof. The Florida license plate read, “BIG PAPI”.