On Tuesday, David Ortiz announced that the 2016 season will be his last.
2016 will be my final season. Thanks for all the memories https://t.co/RhJHcu4bKw
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) November 18, 2015
The outspoken slugger has been one of the most dynamic, prolific players in the last decade and will certainly be missed.
The Boston Red Sox DH has come up in the clutch on multiple occasions and on numerous stages. We decided to rank Big Papi’s most memorable moments.
5. 2004 ALCS Game 4 Walk-off home run
Prior to 2004, the last Red Sox World Series championship occurred in 1918. If it wasn’t for David Ortiz’s magic, Boston might have not made it to the World Series in ’04.
The New York Yankees had a commanding 3-0 series lead, and were just a couple outs from advancing to the Fall Classic. In the bottom of the 12th inning, the game was tied 4-4 when Ortiz came to the plate with a man on first. Big Papi sent a fastball over the right field fence to keep their playoff hopes alive, which ultimately led to the Red Sox winning four games in a row advancing to the World Series.
4. 500th Career home run
On September 12, 2015, Ortiz joined an elite group of players by belting his 500th career home run. Only 27 players are part of this prestigious club. Big Papi ended the 2015 season with 503 homers and is just one away from tying Hall of Famer Eddie Murray.
Ortiz’s 445 home runs as a Red Sox is third-most in franchise history behind Ted Williams (521) and Carl Yastrzemski (452).
3. 2013 World Series
The St. Louis Cardinals had absolutely no answers for the World Series MVP as he led the Red Sox to their third World Series since 2004.
For the series, Ortiz posted a .688 batting average, .760 OBP and 1.948 OPS. He also gave one of his famous speeches to his teammates when they were down in the dumps, which ultimately led to a late-game rally. Ortiz was so dominant that in Game 6 the Cardinals walked him intentionally three times.
2. 2004 ALCS Game 5 Walk-off home run
As if a walk-off home run wasn’t enough in Game 4 to extend the series one more game, Ortiz delivered the next night in dramatic fashion. In the 14th inning of the six hour game, Ortiz came to the plate with Johnny Damon on second base.
After battling pitcher Esteban Loaiza in a 10-pitch at bat, Ortiz looped a single into center field scoring Damon from second base.
For two nights in a row, David Ortiz saved the Red Sox and ultimately drove them to the World Series.
1. Post Boston Marathon Speech
The unofficial mayor of Boston’s best moment didn’t come off a clutch home run or game winning hit. Just days after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the Boston Red Sox battled the Kansas City Royals in an early season MLB game.
More importantly, it was the first game back at Fenway Park since the tragic event. The Red Sox had a pre-game ceremony set to honor the city and the victims. They asked if David would say something, real brief, to offer some sort of comfort to the hurting city.
No one knew that Ortiz’s words would be so emotional and powerful. The below video speaks for itself, and proves that deep down David Ortiz is more than a home run smashing baseball player, but an honorable human being.