The Boston Red Sox have officially announced that David Ortiz’s ex-number 34 will be retired in a ceremony on June 23, 2017, at Fenway Park. The number 34 will become the 10th officially retired number in Boston Red Sox history.
The Sox used to have strict rules regarding number retiring such as the player must be in the Hall of Fame and they must play more than ten years with the Sox and retire with them. They do however make exceptions and in Ortiz’s case, for a very good reason.
The nine official numbers retired by the Sox are, in order from least to greatest, Bobby Doerr (1), Joe Cronin (4), Jonny Pesky (6), Carl Yastrzemski (8), Ted Williams (9), Jim Rice (14), Wade Boggs (26), Carlton Fisk (27), Pedro Martinez (45), and Jackie Robinson (42). There are some “unofficial” retired numbers owned by the Sox and they are Roger Clemens (21), Jason Varitek (33), and Tim Wakefield (49). None of these “unofficial” numbers have been issued since these players left the Red Sox.
Ortiz spent 14 seasons of his legendary career in a Red Sox uniform. In that time span, he’s hit 483 of his 541 career homers. In the three World Series that the Red Sox won, he batted an outstanding .455/.576/.795 with 20 hits in 14 games. He also in his 14 years in Boston, compiled 2079 hits, 1133 walks, 524 doubles, 1530 RBI, 1204 runs, and 4084 total bases.
The Red Sox obviously don’t need to wait the five years it will take for him to get on the ballot and be elected to the Hall because it is very clear that it would be a waste of time. The numbers Ortiz has put up in his career in the regular season and the postseason show that he has earned his spot in Cooperstown and in Boston Red Sox history.