Boston Red Sox Legend David Ortiz Throws Out Ceremonial First Pitch at Fenway Park

David Ortiz is back on the baseball field… 

The 43-year-old Dominican-American former Major League Baseball designated hitter and first baseman for the Boston Red Sox, nicknamed “Big Papi,” made a surprise appearance at Fenway Park on Monday night for the first time since he was shot in a botched assassination attempt in his native Dominican Republic in June.

David Ortiz

Ortiz, a beloved figure among Red Sox faithful, got a standing ovation before throwing out the first pitch prior the game against the New York Yankees.

Ortiz, introduced on the public-address system as a symbol of “resilience, strength, triumph and love,” ran up the steps from the dugout to the field, appearing strong and healthy, before throwing a pitch to former teammate Jason Varitek.

“I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity in my life to be here with all of you,” Ortiz said to the crowd. “I want to thank the Red Sox, my real family. They always have been there for me, supporting me. … They were the first ones there supporting me.”

Ortiz was shot in the back by a gunman while sitting and talking with a friend at a nightclub in Santo Domingo on the night of June 9. He was flown back to Boston aboard a jet sent by the Red Sox the next day and spent seven weeks in a hospital, undergoing three surgeries for life-threatening injuries.

“I want to thank you for all for your prayers, all of them came home,” he told the crowd.

Ortiz also thanked his former Red Sox teammates for their visits and support, as well as some players on the Yankees who had come to see him as he was convalescing.

When the game started, Ortiz took a seat in the first row, right next to Boston’s dugout, giving his No. 34 home jersey to a young boy seated a few rows back in the first inning.

Ortiz was a 10-time MLB All-Star and three-time World Serieswinner with the Red Sox from 2003 through 2016, thrilling fans with late-game dramatics in the postseason. A street across from Fenway Park has been named for the slugger.

He further endeared himself to the fans with his heartfelt and profane speech at Fenway Park days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, urging the city to be “Boston Strong.”

Gio Urshela Helps New York Yankees Break MLB Team Home Run Record

Gio Urshela has helped his team smash its way into the annals of Major League Baseballhistory. 

The 27-year-old Colombian professional baseball player and his fellow “Bronx Bombers,” aka the New York Yankees, hit a home run in the top of the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles to break the MLB record for most home runs by a team against a single opponent in one major league season. 

Gio Urshela

Urshela’s homer, off a 97 mph sinker from reliever Miguel Castro that went over the left-center-field fence for a two-run shot, was the team’s 49th homer against the Orioles. 

During their 14-2 win at Camden Yards on Wednesday, the Yankees went deep five times. That gave them 52 homers against Baltimore to smash the record.

The record-breaking 49th homer came in the top of the fifth inning, when Gio Urshela sent a 97 mph sinker from reliever Miguel Castro over the left-center-field fence for a two-run shot.

Urshela also homered in the sixth. 

Catcher Kyle Higashioka went deep in the fourth and ninth innings, and leftfielder Cameron Maybinlaunched a 436-foot solo blast in the ninth.

Higashioka’s fourth-inning homer off starter John Means tied the MLB record held by the 1956 Yankees, who hit 48 homers against the Kansas City Athletics

The Yankees have 11 players with multi-homer games against Baltimore this season, breaking the record of 10 set by San Francisco Giantsagainst the Los Angeles Dodgersin 1958.

“We have guys up and down the lineup who can hit the ball, so it is no surprise to see what we did,” Higashioka said. “It was nice to be a part of it.”

The Yankees finished 10-0 at Camden Yards. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the 14th time in MLB history that a team has gone 10-0 or better on the road against an opponent and the first time since the 2002 Boston Red Soxwent 10-0 at the Tampa Bay Rays.

They have four games remaining against the Orioles this season, all next week in New York.

“Everyone has a lot of confidence, I think, in one another,” manager Aaron Boonesaid. “That’s the sense you get because we’ve proven throughout the year they can get it done throughout the lineup. Whether it’s been the bottom of the order, the middle, the top, it seems like it’s come from a lot of different places. They take a lot of pride in making it difficult on the pitchers and passing the baton and they have a lot of confidence in the guys in front of them and behind them.”

On Monday, the Yankees set a record by hitting their 32nd home run at Camden this season. That was the highest total by a visiting team at any stadium in one season, breaking the record of 29 held by the 1957 Atlanta Braves(at the Cincinnati Reds’ former Crosley Field).

They’ve only added to it since. Leading the barrage for New York is infielder Gleyber Torres, who has launched 10 of his 23 homers this season against the Birds. Nine of catcher Gary Sanchez‘s 24 home runs have been at Baltimore’s expense, and more than half of outfielder Clint Frazier‘s 11 dingers (six) have come against the O’s.

The Yankees slugged 17 home runs in their three-game sweep of the Orioles, hitting five on Monday and six on Tuesday. According to ESPN Stats & Information, they’re the second team in MLB history to hit five or more homers in three straight games, joining the 1977 Red Sox, who did so against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

The Yankees have hit 203 home runs this season, second in baseball behind the Minnesota Twins (224).

Ortiz to Appear in Boston Marathon Attack-Themed Film “Patriots Day”

David Ortiz is ready for his close-up…

The 40-year-old Dominican designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox will appear in the upcoming movie, Patriots Day, a film that revisits the events of the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

David Ortiz

Ortiz will play himself and reenact his speech addressing fans in Fenway Park on April 20, 2013, in which he stated, “This is our f—ing city. And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!”

The film is scheduled for a limited release in theaters in Boston, New York and Los Angeles on December 21, 2016, with a wider national release slated for January 13, 2017.

It’s being directed by Peter Berg and stars Mark Wahlberg playing a Boston policeman.

“Yeah, Mark [Wahlberg] and I go way back,” Ortiz told ESPN.com. “He came and approached me the other day, asking me about it. And I said, ‘No problem.’ It sounds like it’s going to be fun. We’re going to do the filming when I get back to Boston, one of those mornings. I’m excited.

“It’s a big deal,” Ortiz said. “This movie is going to be a big deal, especially in Boston. After what happened in 2013, it’s going to come out on Christmas.”

Ortiz had no problem getting into how important that moment was for him, as well as for the city of Boston. He feels comfortable tapping into the feelings of the day he spoke to fans and of the pride he feels in helping to express the sentiments of many in the city. It’s especially noteworthy because the film will reportedly use considerable amounts of documentary footage, so the decision to reenact Ortiz’s speech and recapture the emotions of that moment make for a potentially powerful artistic decision.

“That’s the idea,” Ortiz said. “Being proud of it, it’s one of the main reasons they want me in it. But I can say, he went through some other details with me that, once you guys watch the movie, you guys are going to find out about. I’m excited.”

For Ortiz, beyond his personal feelings and role in the events after the bombing, this was also something that speaks to the kinds of movies he’s interested in.

“It’s about history, and I’m a big fan of movies based on true stories,” he said. “When they came out and asked me about it, I could agree with it.”

Ortiz Signs Two-Year, $26 Million Contract with Red Sox

David Ortiz won’t be clearing his locker at Fenway Park for at least two more seasons…

The 36-year-old Dominican-born baseball star, once designated “the greatest clutch-hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox” by the team, has closed a $26 million, two-year deal to stay with the team.

David Ortiz

Immediately after signing his new contract, Ortiz came out to defend himself against comments made by former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine that he had given up toward the end of the season after suffering an injury to his right Achilles.

“The day that I returned from the DL, I told him that I was not sure what percentage health-wise I was in but that I could not be out there without trying to help,” Ortiz told ESPNDeportes.com.

“When I told him that, I put my career on the side to help him and the team. Being in an incredible amount of pain, I went out there to support them.”

“I am a player that has the game in his blood,” the Dominican slugger added. “In the 10 years that I have (been) in Boston, I have been the soul of the organization and there has never been a second where David Ortiz being able to go on the field and do what he does has decided to stay seated.”

Ortiz attended a Fenway Park news conference Monday to announce the agreement, which includes bonuses that could raise the value to $30 million.

“Big Papi,” as he’s nicknamed, had consecutive game-ending hits in extra innings of Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 American League championship series against the New York Yankees as the Red Sox became the first major league team to overcome a 0-3 deficit in a best-of-seven postseason series.

The eight-time All-Star has hit 343 homers for Boston, fifth on the team’s career list, and has 1,088 RBIs.