Prior to the Friday night series opener between the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, Boston’s David Ortiz was honored by his former team.
The Twins organization invited a number of his former teammates from time playing for Minnesota to take part in a ceremony prior to the start of the game.
Ortiz started his career in Minnesota playing from 1997 to 2002, prior to moving to Boston and becoming a champion of three World Series, a fan favorite and potential member of the Hall of Fame.
Following the ceremony, Ortiz said it meant a great deal seeing former teammates. He added that players do not get together much, but will more often once he is retired following this season.
The final visit for Ortiz to Minnesota contained some uneasiness with it, since the club released him following the 2002 season. Terry Ryan the general manager for Minnesota lamented the team’s loss for years, claiming it was one of the worst decisions he has made in baseball.
A video was shown during the pregame ceremony of highlights when Ortiz played, including dancing in the dugout and the players donated $10,000 in the name of Ortiz to the late Twins player Kirby Puckett’s scholarship fund.
Ortiz was presented by the players with a custom peanut butter jar, which was homage to an old prank in the clubhouse in which the underwear of Ortiz was lined with Skippy peanut butter by Koskie.
Many wonder how things would have been if Ortiz had stayed in Minnesota, but instead he spent his Thursday day off with the Red Sox walking in downtown Minneapolis in anonymity for a slugger with over 500 home runs during his career.
When Ortiz arrived in Boston his career took off, in a large part because he was not one of manager Tom Kelly’s favorite players and was hounded to always move runners into scoring position hitting the opposite way instead of using his power to pull the ball, which was his strength.
However, Ortiz insists there are no hard feelings for Kelly or the Twins organization.
Ortiz told reporters that things take place for a reason and he has always appreciated that the Twins organization gave him the opportunity to enter the big leagues and to experience what it was all about.
He only had kind words to say about the entire organization following the ceremony that honored him on Friday night.