BOSTON — The city of Boston got very lucky when its politicians were looking for a way to honor David Ortiz.
The Red Sox celebrated their retiring slugger before his final regular-season game Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, and during the pregame ceremony, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and state Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo had a surprise for Ortiz. The city named the bridge on Brookline Avenue the “Big Papi” David Ortiz Bridge and also named a street near Fenway Park David Ortiz Drive.
And it turns out they struck gold when it came to naming the bridge.
“Every bridge in Boston practically has been named after somebody, and we were shocked, stunned, amazed and thoroughly psyched when we found out that that bridge over Brookline Avenue that so many Red Sox fans have walked over for so many years had not actually been named,” Baker said. “And to be able to name that after David Ortiz and to get our colleagues in the legislature to whip that one through in a matter of minutes was a terrific opportunity I think for us to just say thank you to him.”
While Baker and his colleagues were thinking of ways to honor Ortiz, they did so assuming the bridge behind Fenway already had a name. They even had a backup plan for it.
“We started talking a couple of weeks ago about what we might do, and we went through a whole bunch of iterations on various ideas that didn’t work for one reason or another, and our original thought was we would just put it on the overpass,” Baker said. “Because we assumed the bridge had already been named. But it could be the so-and-so bridge and then the Ortiz overpass. Somebody looked into it and came back and said, ‘You’re never going to believe this, but that’s like the one bridge in Boston that has no name.’ … I think it’s a fitting tribute to somebody who, as the mayor said, was about much more than just sports.”
If that’s not fate, we don’t know what is.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images