David Ortiz named face of Red Sox franchise


On Monday the MLB Network announced that David Ortiz won the Face of the Franchise award. Fans voted the designated hitter as the player who best represents the team for 2015.
Other notable winners are Brett Gardner for the Yankees, Adrian Beltre for Rangers, and Adam Jones for the Orioles.

David Ortiz is no stranger to awards. According to Baseball Almanac he has earned six Silver Sluggers, four Thomas A. Yawkey Awards, the Babe Ruth award for postseason MVP, and Roberto Clemente award. His seven Edgar Martinez Designated Hitter Awards seem particularly significant during this time of year when Hall of Fame voting is fresh in everyone’s minds. Edgar Martinez, in his sixth year on the ballot, received 27% of the votes (up from 25.2% the year before). Many speculate that Martinez’s changes of getting into the Hall mirror Ortiz’s. Analysts have long discounted designated hitters’ numbers because of their position. Frank Thomas‘s election into the Hall in 2014 could show that the tide is turning in favor of acceptance of the DH but if Martinez got in too it would show that 2014 wasn’t just an exception to the rule.

Big Papi has always been a favorite with Red Sox fans. You can follow him on Twitter @davidortiz. His big smile and even bigger personality endears him to everyone. No one will soon forget his clutch hitting, the most resent example is, of course, his game-tying grand slam in game 2 of the ALCS in 2013. Even in 2014, when the whole team struggled and Ortiz had some injuries, he batted .263 with .355 OPS and .517 SLG. His charity, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, works to provide pediatric critical care to kids in the Dominican Republic and the US.

Red Sox fans are anxious to see Ortiz back at the plate. The Sox added Pablo Sandoval over the off season for some more offensive power. They will still need to rely on a healthy Ortiz to round the bases and keep the morale up. If the Sox don’t add another “ace” pitcher they will be looking to score more runs in order to win and this is where a hot offense will be critical.

Opening day can’t come soon enough. Only 89 days to go!