Bostonians named a tunnel for Ted Williams and a pole for Johnny Pesky. Why not a bridge for Big Papi?
State officials, including Governor Charlie Baker, seek to rename the Brookline Avenue Bridge the David Ortiz Bridge. The overpass spans the Mass Pike between Kenmore Square and Fenway Park. Appropriately, it brings fans walking from the Kenmore Square MBTA stop to Fenway Park and brings fans from Fenway Park to the route of the Boston Marathon about a mile from its finish line. Ortiz played a major role in the healing of the city after the 2013 marathon bombings by loudly informing in Improper Bostonian fashion, “This is our f—in’ city.”
“Ortiz’s accomplishments and heroics on and off the baseball field have made him a living legend, and his heartfelt contributions to the communities here and in his native Dominican Republic have made him an icon,” Governor Baker explained in pushing for the public honor for the Olde Towne Team player. “As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I am thrilled to be able to help our Commonwealth create a lasting ‘Thank You’ to Big Papi through the renaming of this bridge.”
State legislators vote on a bill that includes the proposal with bipartisan support on Thursday.
Fans in New York plan a very different going-away present. An online campaign lobbies fans to expose their backsides to Big Papi during his first at-bat in his last game at Yankee Stadium Thursday night. “If ten people moon Big Papi, they’ll be arrested,” MoonBigPapi.com informs. “If ten thousand people Moon Big Papi, they’ll tell their grandchildren they were there.”
The designated hitter completes one of his best campaigns of a 20-year career. He leads the American League in doubles, slugging percentage, and OPS. Although slumping in his last series in Yankee Stadium, Ortiz boasts a .316 average, 37 home runs, and 124 RBI. He broke Dave Kingman’s the major-league record for home runs in a final season in 2016 and once again helped lead the Boston Red Sox from worst to first.