Capping off an emotional pre-game tribute to the Boston Marathon victims at Fenway Park in the first game at the iconic stadium since the Boston Marathon bombings, Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz emotionally–and defiantly–took the mic, addressed the crowd and simply said, “this is our f–king city.”
“And nobody going to dictate our freedom,” Ortiz said. “Stay strong.”
He raised a fist in the air and the crowd howled and roared with approval as he walked off the field.
The pre-game ceremony featured an emotional singing of the national anthem, the unveiling of the “B Strong” logo on the Green Monster, and a tribute to the first responders and Boston’s law enforcement authorities. The Red Sox wore home jerseys with “Boston” on the front for the first time since 1911.
“This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox, it says Boston,” Ortiz said in his remarks. “We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week.”
Ortiz joined the Red Sox before the start of the 2003 season and helped lead the iconic franchise to two World Series championships. His career took off in Boston, and Ortiz also became a United States citizen in 2008.
This was Boston’s first game at Fenway Park since Monday’s bombings. Their game on Friday was canceled as law enforcement officials were on a manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the suspected Marathon bombers. Ortiz was making his homecoming as well, as he was activated before the game, ending an eight-month layoff and giving Boston even a greater sense of normalcy.