In light of David Ortiz becoming a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer tonight, I thought we could look back at one of his most defining moments, not as a baseball player, but as a human being.
On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs detonated near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and several hundred others were injured.
Five days later, the Boston Red Sox returned to Fenway for the first time since the horrible tragedy, but they – and their fans – did so proudly and without fear. And at least some of their courage can be credited to the speech David Ortiz delivered to the Boston crowd.
If you haven’t seen it before, you’re in for something special. Ortiz does a fantastic job as a leader, not only of the Red Sox, but of Boston in general. Check it out (and prepare for goosebumps):
If you can’t watch the video right now, here’s what the (then) 11-year Red Sox DH had to say.
This jersey that we wear today, doesn’t say Red Sox. It says Boston. We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole Police Department for the great job that they did this past week.
This is our f***ing city. And nobody’s gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong.
I remember watching this live on TV, and, unlike the video above, nothing was bleeped out. And no one cared. At that moment, Ortiz brought a whole lot of people together and that was the most important thing he could’ve done.