With the Boston Red Sox battling for their playoff hopes, there was only one man they could call upon to inspire the team to victory: David Ortiz. In his first public appearance since getting shot, Ortiz threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park prior to Monday’s game against the New York Yankees.
Ortiz, 43, received raucous cheers from the Fenway faithful as he took the field.
David Ortiz makes his first public appearance after the shooting, and Fenway gives him a roaring ovation. pic.twitter.com/zSbV4HBGrU— Joon Lee (@joonlee) September 9, 2019
He waved to the fans multiple times before delivering the pitch to Jason Varitek.
Ortiz threw out the first pitch to Jason Varitek and the two shared a big hug pic.twitter.com/3efMM4xHBL— Joon Lee (@joonlee) September 9, 2019
Following the pitch, Ortiz briefly addressed the crowd.
David Ortiz briefly addressed fans and both teams after throwing out a first pitch. pic.twitter.com/GDwSmOZ4og— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) September 9, 2019
The pitch marks Ortiz’s first appearance since getting shot in the Dominican Republic in June. Ortiz was shot in the lower abdomen in what investigators have called a case of mistaken identity. Ortiz was reportedly not the intended target of the shooter.
Baseball hasn’t strayed far from Ortiz’s mind as he’s recovered at home. Ortiz has reportedly watched every Red Sox game, according to Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Ortiz also received some surprise visitors Thursday, when Yankees sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Gary Sanchez stopped by Ortiz’s house.
While inspiring, Ortiz’s return to Fenway comes at an awkward time for the Red Sox. The team fired president Dave Dombrowski early Monday. The Red Sox then made the unusual move of not holding a press conference to discuss the firing.
Following the first-pitch festivities, Ortiz joined his wife in the stands next to the Red Sox’s dugout.
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