Papipalooza is officially underway.
At JetBlue Park moments ago, David Ortiz said his final goodbyes to Lee County and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. And they get to do it all over again tomorrow, when David Ortiz says the first of two final farewells to his original team — the Minnesota Twins — just up the street at Hammond Stadium.
David Ortiz flies around JetBlue Park in Fort Myers in first of many goodbye ceremonies. #Papipalooza
Posted by Steve Silva on Monday, March 28, 2016
Ortiz was summoned from the dugout after his at-bat in the sixth inning in Monday’s game against the Orioles to join Hall of Famer Jim Rice and Red Sox pitching great Luis Tiant to take a quick flight around the field in the pimped-out golf cart draped with a Dominican flag on the roof. Yep. Orioles manager Buck Showalter was absolutely thrilled with the in-game ceremony.
During the pregame Papi goodbye festivities, David was given three seats representing the three Florida stadiums where fans gathered to see his Grapefruit League greatness since 1997.
If the 2016 season will be the swan song for Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, the cheers of the crowd at JetBlue Park on Monday were his overture.The team, the city and its fans came together to honor their longtime star before Boston's game against the Baltimore Orioles, the final home game of the Grapefruit League season for the Red Sox.Read more and see photos here: http://bit.ly/1ShKc3y
Posted by Naples Daily News on Monday, March 28, 2016
“It’s crazy. I wasn’t expecting any of it but it happened,” Ortiz said of the “surprise” ceremony. “Whenever somebody comes to you with a gift, it’s always welcomed, right? The Red Sox and the city of Fort Myers, I really thank them for being so nice.”
It reminds us of 1983, when Carl Yastrzemski kicked off Yazapalooza down in Winter Haven and continued the celebration throughout the season.