1. This Is Our… City
This moment can’t be quantified the way the others on this list can. It wasn’t all the big home runs, dominant series, or career milestones that will stand out when people reflect upon David Ortiz’s career. Which isn’t to say that they weren’t impressive. Instead, it’ll be his place in the fabric of Boston’s long history that defines his career.
His words on April 20, 2013, days after the Marathon bombings that shook the city and nation to its core, took his stature as a Boston icon to another level. His status as a sports legend had already been established but in that moment, he became the hero the city needed.
He didn’t know he was going to speak until moments before the ceremony. He didn’t have a speech planned. And he didn’t really think through what he was saying. But everything worked out perfectly.
“This is our f****** city,” is a phrase that will be engrained in the minds of Red Sox fans and Bostonians for decades. The F-word, while not eloquent, perfectly captured the resilience the city displayed in the days after the tragedy and the attitude its citizens held in the days following. In fact, the moment was so poignant that the FCC decided against fining NESN for airing it without censor.
Whether he intended to or not, Ortiz gave the city someone to look up to at a time of tragedy. For that, he will always be remembered.