Thank you, Papi

With runners at first and second and two outs, Cody Allen delivered to Travis Shaw.

Shaw got under the pitch and flied to right. Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall routinely got under the fly and put it away for the final out.

Cleveland won the game 4-3 and the ALDS 3-0 and just as quickly as Shaw flew out, David Ortiz’s career was over.

The 2013 World Series MVP waited for the Indians to conclude their celebration on the field before coming out to thank Red Sox nation one last time.

The moment was emotional to say the least.

The man who had appeared a superhero in so many postseason games couldn’t gather himself enough to address the Fenway faithful as tears welled up in his eyes.

Instead, he saluted the crowd one last time, tipping his cap, and walking off the field in his Red Sox uniform one final time.

David Ortiz was my favorite player growing up, he won me over when I was a little kid, watching the Red Sox come back from 3-0 down against the Yankees.

The moment when he hit a walk-off homerun in Game 4 is one I still watch and still get the chills watching.

I thought I understood the pain of being a Sox fan, the pain and disappointment my parents were always overcome with watching the World Series drought, but it was Ortiz that was responsible for me never really having to go through that agony.

The slugger went on to have a tremendous career, rounding it out hitting .286, with 541 career homeruns, 10 all-star appearances, a World Series MVP, an ALCS MVP and who knows, maybe a regular season MVP after this year’s voting is done.

But Ortiz was more than that, he was more than just a baseball player.

There was not a moment that he didn’t have that joyous smile on his face. He loved the game no matter what.

Every time I went to Fenway, Ortiz was out in centerfield during warmups smiling, laughing and goofing around with an opposing player.

During the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Ortiz gave us a moment we’ll never forget, addressing the crowd, putting political correctness aside and speaking with pure emotion.

“This is our f****** city, “ he yelled out, letting us all know that it’d be okay, that we’d get past it.

He led the Red Sox to the World Series that year with a grand slam in the ALCS that I again will never forget.

Ortiz appreciated the game and loved playing the game and that was part of what made him so special as a player.

Ortiz is the greatest designated hitter we’ve ever seen play the game, he’s cemented himself in the Red Sox Mount Rushmore, his jersey will be retired and he will without a doubt be a Hall of Famer.

It would have been special to see the Red Sox win one more title, a farewell to Big Papi, but Ortiz didn’t need it, he’s done everything there is to do.

He’s given Red Sox fans so many great memories, so many smiles and so many laughs and for that I say thank you Big Papi.

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