Red Sox: Dream scenario of a David Ortiz surprise

Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) salutes the fans after loosing to the Cleveland Indians 3-4 in game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) salutes the fans after loosing to the Cleveland Indians 3-4 in game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Red Sox plan to retire the number of iconic slugger David Ortiz on Friday. Assuming, of course, that Big Papi is ready to truly call it a career.

Fans have piled into Fenway Park early, amassing a capacity crowd buzzing with excitement. The tickets that admitted them entrance through the gates advertised that the Boston Red Sox would be playing tonight, yet that’s not the main attraction that brought them here.

These fans are here to witness history. This is the night where David Ortiz will be immortalized, becoming only the 10th player in franchise history to have his number retired.

The Red Sox have arranged for a pregame ceremony to take place on the field. A single microphone stands between the mound and home plate, surrounded by photographers and camera crews to document every detail of the event.

A hush falls over the crowd in anticipation as a voice booms over the loudspeakers:

“Ladies and gentleman, please welcome back to Fenway Park… David Ortiz!”

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The crowd erupts in thunderous applause as Ortiz pops out of the Red Sox dugout. He takes his time strolling out toward the field, soaking in the adoration of a fan base that supported him through 14 seasons in this city.

A warm summer’s heat hangs over the ballpark, yet the weather doesn’t dissuade Ortiz from dressing to the nines in a custom suit almost as white as his beaming smile. Big Papi has style! The heat radiating from a setting sun hanging in the distance won’t alter that.

Ortiz takes a moment to look around him. Current Red Sox players, many of whom he called teammates a mere eight months ago, line up at the edge of the dugout.

Some familiar faces have joined him on the field to show their support. Pedro Martinez is there, along with Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield. Kevin Millar is talking the ear off of everyone nearby, yet his words are drowned out by the roar of the crowd. Ortiz can’t make out a word he’s saying, so he responds only with an appreciative nod. Manny Ramirez wanted to be there, but the time differential in Japan confused him so he got the dates mixed up. Classic Manny being Manny.

The Red Sox ownership group has stepped up to the microphone to deliver a heartfelt speech about what David Ortiz has meant to the organization and the city of Boston. Hearing John Henry praise him for being the heart and soul of the franchise brings a tear to his eye, which Ortiz casually brushes aside in an attempt to keep his composure.

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Once the speeches have concluded, Ortiz steps forward to thank the owners for their kind words and for the opportunity to spend the best years of his career with this team. Henry extends his arm toward Ortiz for a respectful handshake, only for both he and Tom Werner to be pulled into a massive bear hug. Ortiz is a hugger, these guys should know that by now.

Attention now turns to the right field facade for the unveiling of Big Papi’s number. A curtain hangs beside the No. 26 of Wade Boggs, concealing the number that will forever place Ortiz among the all-time greats in Red Sox history.

The video board in center field counts down from ten. Fans shout out each number, getting louder with eager anticipation as each second ticks away. The clock finally strikes zero, prompting the curtain to slowly slip down the facade to reveal the number underneath.

Only the No. 34 is nowhere to be found. In its place is… a question mark.

A bewildered crowd stares in disbelief. What does this mean? Has The Riddler escaped Gotham to plague Boston instead? A city turns to Ortiz for answers.

The confusion on the face of Ortiz slips away, revealing a smile he can no longer keep hidden. He steps to the microphone to utter what will go down in Red Sox folklore as two of the most important words in franchise history.

“No yet.”

Ortiz slides his suit jacket off his massive shoulders and tosses it aside to Pedro, who has begun jumping around the infield screaming, “I told you! I told you!” Ortiz then tears through the buttons of his dress shirt as if he were Superman making a quick costume change. Instead of the iconic S emblazoned on the superhero’s costume, we find the familiar stylized team name found across the chest of a Red Sox jersey.

A stunned crowd starts to awaken with the realization of what’s happening. Is this real? Can this be?

Yes, confirms Ortiz. You see, he’s been keeping an eye on the Red Sox all season. While his former teammates have made him proud by battling for first place in a competitive AL East, the lineup still seems to be missing some pop. What this team needs is a home run hitting threat to strike fear into the hearts of opposing hitters. It’s a role Ortiz is well versed in and after sitting out nearly half a season, the 41-year old is suddenly feeling spry again.

Next: What if Clemens never left Boston?

It’s ok to get excited, just don’t have a heart attack. The Red Sox are contenders again now that Big Papi is back!