On Monday, October 11th, the Boston Red Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians by a score of 4 to 3. This completed a 3-game sweep of the Sox to eliminate Boston from the playoffs and end their season. It also marked the end of the career of David Ortiz.
Ortiz is a giant in the world of baseball and the 40-year-old, known for his friendly attitude and playoff heroics, is a very important figure in the city of Boston. But the future Hall-of-famer’s career was almost ended before it started.
Ortiz, known in Boston as “Big Papi”, was brought into the Major Leagues by the Minnesota Twins. He struggled with the American League Central team for a few years, eventually being released. The Twins didn’t think he could hit the inside fastball. They were very wrong.
He was then signed by the Boston Red Sox to form a formidable one-two punch with fellow slugger Manny Ramirez. And he quickly got to work dismantling American League pitching. Comfortable in his new role as the Red Sox DH, he put together a string of All Star seasons that saw him top 30 home runs while driving in more than 100 RBI.
But it was his work in the posteason that made Big Papi incredibly special. Papi seemed to single-handedly break the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004, hitting two walk-off hits to eliminate the Yankees in the ALCS. The first was a extra-inning homerun deposited into the right field seats and the second was an extra-inning single off Mariona Rivera. It marked the only time in baseball history a team had won a postseason series after falling behind 3 games to none.
But the incredible playoff heroics did not end there. During the 2013 World Series winning drive, Ortiz hit a game-tying grandslam off the Detroit Tigers closer that helped Boston reach the Championship series.
Ortiz is beloved around the game and is revered as one of the most respected players in the history of the Major Leagues. He’ll be the first designated hitter to reach the Hall of Fame and he will be sorely missed in the city of Boston.