David Ortiz throws out first pitch at Fenway Park, thanks fans for prayers

Sporting News

The Yankees got the best of the Red Sox as they closed out their four-game series with a third-straight win Monday, but not even a 5-0 shutout could spoil the mood in Boston.

David Ortiz made a surprise appearance at Fenway Park for the first time since he was shot in his native Dominican Republic in June.

The beloved Red Sox legend was welcomed with a standing ovation and threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Jason Varitek. Ortiz then thanked fans for their support and well wishes before taking a seat in the first row next to Boston's dugout.

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"I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity in my life to be here with all of you," Ortiz said. "I want to thank the Red Sox, my real family. They always have been there for me, supporting me. ... They were the first ones there supporting me."

Ortiz was shot in the back at a nightclub in Santo Domingo on June 9. The next day, the Red Sox flew him back to Boston, where he was hospitalized for seven weeks and underwent multiple surgeries for life-threatening injuries.

"I want to thank you all for your prayers, all of them came home," Ortiz continued.

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More than a dozen people have been arrested in connection with the shooting, but Dominican authorities, who initially described it as an intentional hit on Ortiz, have since said their investigation led them to think the shooting was a case of mistaken identity rather than one in which Ortiz was targeted.

Ortiz, 43, is an icon in Boston after helping the Red Sox win three World Series titles while earning 10 All-Star selections.

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