Red Sox honor David Ortiz for 500th HR
BOSTON (AP) The Boston Red Sox honored David Ortiz in his first game in Fenway Park since he joined the 500 home run club.
During a 15-minute pregame ceremony before the Red Sox faced Tampa Bay on Monday night, former teammates Pedro Martinez, Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek came out of a new vehicle that was presented to him by his teammates and the organization.
''I'm not much of a talker,'' Ortiz joked before thanking the fans.
''It's an unbelievable honor to be part of the 500 club,'' he said. ''Let's keep on hitting bombs.''
The team then showed a video of all 500 of his homers on the board in center field.
Boston mayor Marty Walsh proclaimed ''September 21, 2015 as David Ortiz Day in the city of Boston.''
Varitek said: ''You made all of us proud. You did it with the most clutch hits and clutch home runs in Red Sox history.''
Owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and outgoing president Larry Lucchino presented Ortiz with a plaque listing all of his 500 homers.
Henry once gave Ortiz a plaque that read: ''the greatest clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox.''
The club showed a video of Danilo Medina, the President of the Dominican Republic, congratulating Ortiz.
Recently inducted Hall of Famer Martinez spoke to the crowd in Spanish.
Ortiz entered the night with 35 homers, giving him 501 in his career. He has 98 RBIs, two short of his ninth career 100 RBI season with the club that would tie Hall of Famer Ted Williams for most in team history.
On Sept. 5 he hit his 30th homer, giving him nine seasons with 30 or more, most in club history. Williams had eight.
Members of the club's ''Kids Nation'' - a fan club for children - stood together, making a 500 in the grass in center field. They wore red T-shirts with ''500 home runs'' and an image of Ortiz finishing a swing on the front.
Ortiz hit his 500th at Tampa Bay on Sept. 12.