Red Sox retire Ortiz’s number before Friday’s game

Retired Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, left, shares a laugh with team president Sam Kennedy during a gathering where part of Yawkey Way was renamed David Ortiz Drive, Thursday, June 22, 201, outside Fenway Park in Boston. Ortiz's No. 34 will be retired in a ceremony prior to Friday night's game. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON (WPRI) — In a pre-game ceremony Friday, the Boston Red Sox retired number 34 in honor of three-time World Series Champion and 10-time All-Star David Ortiz.

The number 34 is the the 11th on the right field facade of Fenway Park, accompanying other jerseys of legendary players such as Bobby Doerr’s #1, Carl Yastrzemski’s #8, and Jackie Robinson’s #42, which is retired throughout Major League Baseball.

Big Papi’s jersey was retired 265 days after he walked off the Fenway field for the last time. And if you’re wondering – that’s really fast. Ted Williams waited 24 years, Doerr and Joe Cronin waited 37 years and it was two decades for Carlton Fish and Jim Rice.

“That short amount of time is a symbol,” team president Sam Kennedy said Thursday, “of how everyone … feels about the player who was the most important player in the history of the Red Sox.”

The celebration started a day early when Boston Mayor Marty Walsh helped rename Yawkey Way Extension – the street from Fenway to the nearest train station – as “David Ortiz Drive.” A giant 34 will also join other retired numbers along Yawkey Way.

Retired Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz addresses a gathering, where part of Yawkey Way was renamed David Ortiz Drive, Thursday, June 22, 2017, outside Fenway Park in Boston. Ortiz’s No. 34 will be retired in a ceremony prior to Friday night’s game. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Ortiz retired at the age of 40 with one of the best seasons of his career, hitting .315 with 38 homers and a league-leading 127 RBIs. In his career with the Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins, he finished with a 286 average, 541 homers, and 1,768 RBIs.