After 20 seasons of professional baseball, David Ortiz, the designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, is hanging his jersey up for good. Ortiz, also known as Big Papi, is one of the most beloved Red Sox players in the history of the franchise. Ortiz and the Red Sox began the postseason last night, losing 5-4 to the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series, the beginning of Big Papi’s final postseason run.
Ortiz was first signed by the Minnesota Twins at age 22, and he was later traded to Boston. He played his first six seasons with the Twins and the remaining 14 with the Red Sox. Over the course of his career, Ortiz finished with numbers of the regular season that look like this: 541 home runs, 1,768 RBIs, a .286 batting average, a .380 on-base percentage, and a .552 slugging percentage. Many baseball analysts say that David Ortiz will be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.
The Boston Marathon bombing happened on April 15, 2013. The Boston bombing was a terrorist attack during the world famous Boston Marathon. After this catastrophic event occurred, David Ortiz gave a speech to the Red Sox fans during the first game of the next home stand. Big Papi gave a mighty, energetic, and electric speech at Fenway. He made clear to the terrorists that they weren’t going to mess with Boston, and Boston became stronger than ever that day.
Ortiz has had some significant events occur during his professional career. A 10-time MLB All-Star, Ortiz won World Series championships with the Red Sox in 2004, 2007, and 2013. Big Papi is also a record holder for the single season home run record by a Red Sox player with 54 homers. With various other accomplishments, Ortiz has done it all.
Over the course of the 2016 season, opponents at each ballpark have been honoring Ortiz when he makes his final appearance at their stadium. One of the most memorable stadium farewells occurred this past weekend in the Bronx, New York. The New York Yankees put the rivalry aside and honored Ortiz by bringing out former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera to honor Ortiz. Two legends of the game, always playing opposite each other, made that farewell one to remember. With the Red Sox seeing postseason action, the icing on Big Papi’s retirement would be one more final World Series ring.