Red Sox legend David Ortiz throws out first pitch in first public appearance since he was shot
David Ortiz, the legendary Boston Red Sox designated hitter, returned to Fenway Park on Monday night to throw out the first pitch before the game against the New York Yankees.
It was Ortiz's first public appearance since he was shot in his native Dominican Republic in June.
After tossing the ceremonial pitch to longtime teammate Jason Varitek, Big Papi grabbed a mic to address the crowd in a short but emotional address.
"First of all, I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity in my life to be able to be here with all of you," Ortiz said.
David Ortiz addresses the crowd before the Red Sox's game against the Yankees. (Photo: Maddie Meyer, Getty Images)
"I want to thank the Red Sox, my real family, they always have been there for me, supporting me. They were aware of what happened to me and they were the first ones there supporting me. Thank you very much Red Sox family."
Ortiz was flown up to Boston in the aftermath of the shooting by the Red Sox.
Papi’s home. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3VPSVACZQV
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He continued his thanks by saluting fans and his former teammates.
"I want to thank all of you for all the prayers. All of them came home. I really appreciate it, thank you very much."
"I want to thank my former teammates for being there for me. And also, all of them came home to check up on this boy."
“Welcome home, Big Papi!” ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UGR34SECdT
Then, in a touching moment that put the rivalry aside, Ortiz thanked the members of the Yankees who had come to visit him, which received among the biggest cheers from the Red Sox faithful during Ortiz's speech.
"Also, I want to thank the Yankees. A lot of my boys over there came over there to check up on Big Papi, thank you very much, appreciate it.
"God bless you all. Go Sox!" Ortiz concluded.
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