Ortiz, a member of the Boston Red Sox organization, played his last game Monday night at Fenway Park, in Game 3 of the ALDS. Boston may have lost 4-3 to the Cleveland Indians, but the game stayed competitive until the bitter end. After the final out, the crowd began to chant “Papi! Papi!” knowing that the loss meant he’d never be stepping on the mound again, after announcing at the beginning of the season that this would be his last.
As the chants got louder, Ortiz emerged from the dugout and held his hat up for the very last time and got pretty emotional.
At the post game press conference, Ortiz spoke on the last moment on the field.
“It kind of hit me a little bit, not going to lie to you,” he said, according to CBS Boston. “I try to hold my emotions as much as I can, but that last second, I couldn’t hold it no more.”
Papi also thanked the fans for their unwavering support over the years.
“What made me happy and proud about walking home the way I am right now is that as long as I played in front of these fans, I never took anything for granted. I gave everything I happened to do something special while I played, and the fans respect that. The fans love that. The fans, they live through it. And that’s all that matters to me.”
#ThanksPapi began trending out Twitter as fans, and former players showed love.