Friday night's ceremony retiring beloved first baseman David Ortiz's number 34 left members of Red Sox Nation feeling bittersweet. While fans were overjoyed to witness the three-time World Series Champ's number being retired, the emotional ceremony was yet another reminder of how much "Big Papi" will be missed.

Ortiz joined the Red Sox in January of 2003

From the beginning of his career with the Red Sox, Ortiz made his appreciation of #RedSoxNation known. A fan favorite, first baseman and designated hitter rarely disappointed his loyal fans. Ortiz helped lead the team to three World Series victories and was named the World Series MVP in 2013.

A seven-time Silver Slugger Award Recipient, Ortiz holds the Red Sox record for the most home runs in a season with 54 home runs in the 2006 season. Fans undoubtedly love Ortiz for his stellar stats, including a career high of 541 home runs and 1,768 RBIs. Big Papi's skills on the field aren't the only reason why Boston fans love Ortiz so much, though.

#BostonStrong

After the devastating terror attack against Boston in 2013 Number 34 proved his loyalty to both Red Sox Nation and the city of #Boston. Just five days after the April 15th attack on Boston, Ortiz took to the field, inspiring and energizing the Fenway crowd declaring, "This is our f***ing city and nobody going to dictate our freedom.

Stay Strong. Thank You."

A future with the Organization?

With so many people paying close attention to the NBA Draft 2017 it's possible fans are distracted just enough to have missed Ortiz's hint at a potential future with the Organization. During Friday's retirement ceremony Big Papi confirmed that he will, in fact, work with the organization, saying, "it will happen." He declined to offer further details, stating Red Sox President Sam Kennedy could offer more information.

With talented and exciting players like Mookie Betts, veteran Hanley Ramirez, and former League MVP Dustin Pedroia, it's no surprise that the Sox are having an excellent season. Currently ranked first in the AL East, fans are thrilled. Another source of great satisfaction for Sox Nation is the fact that the Red Sox's greatest rivals Yankees are getting hit with some hard injuries, greatly affecting the team's performance.

Feeling the love

Friday night's ceremony was meaningful to Red Sox fans for so many reasons. Paying homage to their beloved Number 34 and learning that he will return to the organization in some capacity filled fans with excitement, love, and gratitude. Ortiz too felt the love saying he was, "very, very touched, very emotional." He continued saying the retirement ceremony was, "beyond what I thought." It was just as emotional for #RedSoxNation as they bid farewell to their beloved Big Papi; not just as a superstar baseball player but as a true member of Red Sox Nation and dedicated Bostonian.

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