As the MLB offseason came to a screeching halt with the inevitable lockout, baseball fans aren’t feeling too great. Let’s take a look at Big Papi’s greatest moments to ease the offseason blues… unless you are a Yankees fan of course!
5. Red Sox Home Run Record
There is no doubt that Ortiz is one of the greatest Red Sox players of all time. He cemented this title when he broke Jimmie Foxx’s single-season Red Sox home run record in 2006 against the Twins. It was only fitting that he had this signature moment against the team that released him 4 years earlier.
4. 500th Career Homer
As the 2015 season progressed, Papi approached the 500 career home run milestone. Fans counted down with red banners on the Green Monster and bleacher ticket prices eclipsed box seat prices. Although Ortiz didn’t hit number 500 in front of the Fenway Faithful, it was still an electric moment when he hit it at Tropicana Field.
3. Boston Strong Speech
The city of Boston was in mourning after the tragic 2013 Marathon Bombings. When MLB resumed, Ortiz spoke in front of a sellout crowd and rallied the city together with his expletive language. It was then that he became more than just a Boston athlete and led the city out of tragedy into a glorious 2013 playoff run.
2. 2013 ALCS Grand Slam
2 outs. Bottom of the 8th. Bases Loaded. Down by 4. Down 1 in the ALCS. Heading to Detroit for 3 games. David Ortiz was forced to single-handedly dig the Sox out of this hole, and he came through big time. He launched a hanging breaking ball into the October night and sent Fenway into a frenzy. The Sox would go on to win 4 of 5 games and snatch the series from the Tigers thanks to Papi’s heroics.
1. Back-To-Back Walk Offs ALCS 2004
The greatest comeback in sports history was of course carried by the “King of Clutch” himself. The Sox were down 1 in the bottom of the 9th and rallied to tie it off of Mariano Rivera. Then in the 12th, Ortiz drove a ball over the head of Gary Sheffield and into the bullpen to win game 4. 24 hours later, Ortiz poked a ball into center field and once again walked it off. The Sox completed the improbable comeback in the Bronx and swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first championship in 86 years.
David Ortiz is solely responsible for the 21st Century Red Sox successes. He remains a role model for players and a hero for New Englanders. So from all of Sox Nation, thanks for all the memories!
Photo: Steven Senne | Associated Press