Ortiz reflects on tear-filled curtain call, legendary career
David Ortiz tried to hold his emotions together as he returned onto Fenway Park following the Boston Red Sox's sweep by the Cleveland Indians.
Camera crews surrounded Ortiz on the mound as the 40-year-old slugger tipped his cap one last time, and he could not hold back his tears, weeping as he reflected on his incredible career and the Red Sox faithful that loved him.
"The fans love that. The fans, they live through it," he said.
"And that's all that matters to me. And everywhere I go, everywhere I bump into our fans, it doesn't matter if you bump into two of them or you bump into a thousand of them -- they show the same love. That's why I got better. That's what gave me the opportunity to give me the career I had."
Ortiz, who will have his number 34 jersey retired next season, finished his career with 541 home runs, good for 17th all time.
His 1,768 RBIs also were good for 22nd all time, and 632 doubles, 10th all time.
He is only the third player in history to have more than 500 home runs and 600 doubles.
It is an unbelievable career considering Ortiz had been traded and cut before joining the Red Sox for three World Series titles.
"The game, the game that I love, the game that made me be who I am, the game that I look forward to get better every day, is something that I'm definitely going to carry it the rest of my life," Ortiz said.
"Those moments, they're always going to be special. They're always going to stay with you."
Knowing Monday could be his last game at Fenway, Ortiz said he took the time to drive around the historic ballpark for the first time.
"I did a lap of Fenway today, and I kind of viewed things from different perspectives," Ortiz said.
"But like I say, I can't ask God for no more than what he has given me. I'm a guy that I came out of the Dominican one day, and I was 17 years old, and all I wanted to do was have fun at what I do. Because you kind of walk into this career, there's a lot of expectations but you don't know any of them when you are that age. And then through my career, I saw a lot of things happen.
"I saw a lot of guys being lost in their life -- not just their career or their futures in general. Their life. Because this is everything that they had, and they never made it, and seeing those things, I always have been a guy that my mind and my eyes, I always used them at their best. And everything that I saw that cut them short to not make it in their career, I kind of played it out like it was myself."