Three months ago, David Ortiz was shot while out with a friend in the Dominican Republic, but Monday he came home.

In his biggest public appearance since the shooting, ‘Big Papi’ returned to Fenway Park prior to the series finale between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He did so to his former teammate Jason Varitek who was with him on the 2004 and 2007 World Series-winning Red Sox teams.

The 43-year old, who looked a lot slimmer following multiple surgeries, received a standing ovation, then delivered a speech which drew several rounds of applause.

“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’ve always been there for me, supporting me. They were aware of what happened with me and they were the first ones there supporting me. Thank you very much Red Sox fam. I want to thank all of you for all the prayers. All of them came home. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.”

Ortiz would go on to thank members of the Yankees who “came home to check up on this boy,” which included the likes of CC Sabathia and Edwin Encarnacion.

No matter which side of the fence you are on in this rivalry, or if you are a fan of any MLB team, you had to feel good seeing Ortiz step back onto the field laughing and smiling. His bigger than life personality earned him a lot of affection and respect in Boston, the Dominican Republic and across the majors.

The former Red Sox player took in the game, sitting right next to the team’s dugout chatting with manager Alex Cora and the other coaches. There is no word if he was passing on some advice on how to make sure the home team beat their bitter rival.

New York would go on to win the game and eliminate Boston from contention of the AL East title, which they have held for the last three seasons. The Red Sox can still make the playoffs but will need to pick up a Wild Card spot over the final two and a half weeks of the regular season.