By: Rossy Pasternak
A few weeks ago, I read an article on the Players’ Tribune written by David Ortiz. In the article, Ortiz talked about his friend Pedro Martinez and how without him, nobody would know the name David Ortiz. Ortiz talked about how he got cut by the Minnesota Twins as a 27 year-old platoon player with no job. Pedro Martinez got the Boston Red Sox to sign Ortiz, and the rest is history. Now, Ortiz has announced that he will be retiring after this upcoming 2016 MLB season.
After reading this article, I thought about all of the moments that David Ortiz has been involved in, and thought to myself – what if Pedro hadn’t convinced the Sox to sign him? David Ortiz, the player who has the 3rd most HRs in Red Sox history, – he will pass Carl Yastrzemski with 7 more homers – and the most as a designated hitter in the history of the MLB. Big Papi is not only great in the regular season, but steps up his game even further in October. Papi owns the highest World Series batting average (.455), slugging percentage (.795), and on-base percentage (.576) of any player with a minimum of 50 appearances in the Series.
Last year, Ortiz had one of his best statistical seasons of his career, finishing with a .273/.360/.553 slash line, 37 HRs, and 108 RBIs. His 37 HRs were good enough for the 4th most in a season in his career. For the past three season, Ortiz has put up more than 30 homers and 100 RBI. Those who said Big Papi was done after his down season in 2012 are biting their words now.
With all the success, and all of the playoff heroism, Ortiz will go finish his career as a Red Sox legend; one of the many legends of one of the most legendary teams in the MLB. As well as his play on the field, Ortiz has become a fan-favourite in Boston, and a strong voice in the city. It would not even be too far-fetched to say that Ortiz had a similar effect and/or influence in Boston as Derek Jeter had in New York with the Yankees. While Jeter had his Jordan Brand “Re2pect” commercials during his last season, Ortiz teamed up with Gronk to film possibly the best series of Dunkin Donuts commercials ever.
Naturally, when Papi announced his plans to retire after this upcoming season, the topic that came up is whether or not he deserves to be enshrined in Cooperstown. The argument against is that Ortiz was mainly a DH, and didn’t have the effect most players have, as he rarely played the field. My personal opinion is that Ortiz should be inducted to the Hall of Fame. Ortiz not only has great offensive stats (503 HRs, 1641 RBIs, and a .284 BA) – and those will just go up this year – but he also had such an effect on Boston and the game in general. Even if he rarely takes the field, some of his at bats have written history. He has all the criteria to be in the hall.
Hall of Fame or not, – unfortunately, it is not for me to decide – Ortiz will go down as one of the best of his era, and one of the best to ever wear a Red Sox jersey. As a fan of the Blue Jays, a team Papi has dominated his whole career, it is hard for me to admit it but I have the upmost respect for him. What he has done for the game of baseball, and for the city of Boston is phenomenal. He is a fantastic player, and it seems like an even better person. I wish him nothing but good luck this upcoming season, and in his retirement. He truly is a legend.
What do you think? Is Ortiz a Hall of Fame player? Comment below!
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