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Red Sox to retire David Ortiz’ number 34

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34 is joining the ranks

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox have decided there’s no use delaying the inevitable. During the pre-game ceremony held to celebrate the final regular-season game of David Ortiz’ career, the Sox announced that Ortiz’ number 34 would join the ranks of their retired numbers early in 2017.

That Ortiz’ number would never again be assigned to a member of the Red Sox wasn’t exactly in question. In the past, the Sox have at least professed to have certain rules involving a player spending a certain amount of time in Boston, finishing their career there, and being elected to the Hall of Fame. Under those restrictions, Ortiz obviously would not qualify since he won’t even come up for Hall of Fame voting for years to come.

But they’ve paid less attention to those rules as time has passed, and even if they hadn’t, Ortiz is the guy you break the rule for. He brought Boston the end of the drought, three World Series rings, and so very many great moments, not all of them coming during games. Ted Williams may be the best player to ever wear the uniform, but in many ways the greatest is David Ortiz.