The love affair between David Ortiz and Boston resumed, quite literally, Thursday afternoon at the corner of what is now known as David Ortiz Drive.
The city officially unveiled the new street, which was formerly Yawkey Way ext., at a ceremony on Thursday that included Ortiz, Red Sox owner John Henry, team chairman Tom Werner, team president Sam Kennedy and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, among others.
Ortiz gave a short speech thanking both the team and the city. As he stepped to the podium, a fan shouted out "love you David," to which the retired slugger replied "love you too."
There figures to be plenty more of that over the next 24 hours, too. The Red Sox will retire David Ortiz's number Friday night -- the first time Ortiz has returned to Fenway Park since announcing his retirement -- prior to a 7:10 p.m. game against the Los Angeles Angels.
Ortiz's No. 34 is the 11th number retired by the Red Sox. In a quick speech at Thursday's ceremony, Henry noted that, on average, it has taken 26 years for a number to be retired once a player's career ended.
For Ortiz, he said, it took 265 days.
"That short amount of time is a symbol," Kennedy told the Associated Press on Thursday, "of how everyone ... feels about the player who was the most important player in the history of the Red Sox."