Big Papi surprises fans with 1st pitch at Fenway

MLB New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

MLB New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Red Sox fans were in for quite the treat on Monday when David Ortiz made a surprise appearance at Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch of the game against the New York Yankees.

Although Sunday was marred by the firing of former team president Dave Dombroski, Monday night should be the highlight of the season for a Red Sox team almost mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, now 17.5 games back of the first place Yankees in the AL East, and eight games back of Oakland for the final Wildcard spot.

The crowd loudly cheered and applauded the Sox star after the pitch, and Ortiz spoke about how much support from fans and the team meant during his recovery. "I want to thank the Red Sox, my real family; they have always been there for me". I want to thank my former teammates for being there for me. "Also, I want to thank the Yankees, a lot of my boys over there came to check up on Big Papi".

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Ortiz's homecoming comes just a few weeks after he was released from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was being treated after he was shot in the back at a nightclub in his hometown in the Dominican Republic on June 9.

Doctors in Santo Domingo removed Ortiz's gallbladder and part of his intestine, and he was flown the next day on a Red Sox plane to Boston, where he had more surgery.

Ortiz, who spent 14 seasons with the Sox, helping the team win three World Series, retired from baseball in 2016. A street across from Fenway Park has been named for the slugger.

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