In pregame ceremony, David Ortiz tells Boston, ‘I love you forever’

David Ortiz brought some of his Hall of Fame magic to Fenway Park on Tuesday night, when he was honored in a lengthy pregame ceremony celebrating the franchise icon’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“The lucky charm just arrived,” Ortiz joked as he began his speech.

The Red Sox entered Tuesday three games back of a playoff spot but clinging to postseason hopes.

Fenway was ready for Ortiz’s arrival.

Three large banners wrapped the outfield. The 2004 World Series banner was unveiled by some of the Red Sox’s longest-serving season ticket holders, the ’07 banner was handled by the Jimmy Fund Kids and representatives of the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, and the ’13 banner was carried by the Boston Marathon Bombings. The survivors of the explosion had

Sox legends Pedro Martinez, Jim Rice and Carl Ystrzymski joined Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Ortiz on the field. Former general manager Theo Epstein and former managers Terry Francona and John Ferrell sat on the first base line with Sox owner John Henry and Gov. Charlie Baker. Ortiz’s family stood by third base.

“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is something that was an amazing experience,” Ortiz said. “I don’t have to tell you guys much because you were there with me.”

The crowd roared.

Ortiz kept his speech short and simple, thanking the owners, managers and players who guided him during his 14 years in Boston.

“Most importantly, I want to thank all the fans, all the Red Sox fans around the world,” he said. “Without you guys, trust me, none of this would have happened. Every time I walked into that arena and saw all the seats filled with people hoping to win, it was a motivation for me that I Try to push through and try to do better and better every day.

Ortiz thanked his family and then concluded by saying, “Thank you so much, Boston. Here’s to your son – I love you forever.”

He threw out a ceremonial first pitch to Jason Vartek to wrap up the ceremony.

Commemorative Ortiz pins were distributed to all fans at the gates, while Hall of Fame gear was sold to raise funds for Ortiz’s Children’s Fund, which benefits children in New England and the Dominican Republic who Can’t afford major heart care.

Return of DH

It was fitting that on Ortiz’s night, designated hitter J.D. Martinez returned to the Sox lineup for the first time since the All-Star break.

Martinez went 0-for-2 in the All-Star Game but has since been sidelined with a back strain.

Still, the Sox lineup resembles the spring training lineup, with Alex Verdugo, Jalen Davis and Rob Refsnyder in the outfield, left to right, and Bobby Dalbeck, Xander Bogaerts, Ylmer Sanchez and Christian Vazquez in the infield.

Injured utility man Christian Arroyo and injured lefty Rich Hill are scheduled to join Portland for rehab assignments beginning Wednesday.

Second baseman Trevor Story took batting practice in the field and is coming off a hand injury. The Sox will know more about their schedule later in the week.

Former closer Matt Barnes has struggled on his rehab assignment, with an 11.57 ERA in five minor league appearances, but he will continue pitching in the minors as he recovers from shoulder inflammation.

Right-hander Josh Winkowski was activated from the COVID-19 injury list and started Tuesday’s game on the mound. To make room, lefty Darronzon Hernandez was optioned to Worcester and right-hander Phillips Valdez was designated for assignment.

The Sox activated right-hander Connor Seibold from the injured list and optioned him to Triple-A.

Sox sign draft pick.

The Sox signed both of their top picks in the MLB draft, adding first-round shortstop Mickey Romero and second-round shortstop Cutter Coffey to contracts Tuesday. They have also signed some undrafted free agents, including New England native UConn: catcher Matthew Donlan.

The signing bonuses, previously reported by The Athletic, were $2.3 million for Romero and $1.85 million for Coffey.

Romero and Coffey were taking batting practice at Fenway Park on Monday. Romero, a left-hander, said he cleared the bullpen in right field several times while right-hander Kofi was targeting the Green Monster.

“It’s been great,” Coffey said. “Growing up a Red Sox fan, coming from California, being able to hear my name called by the Red Sox … I’m ready to go to work.”