Red Sox Memories: David Ortiz Beats Han-Ram At 2010 Derby
You’ve heard the saying. It’s said all over baseball, but especially at this time of year: Chicks dig the long ball. Some likely do, considering that people say it so often; however, the chances that every woman loves to watch home runs is as good as them all desiring to be called ‘chicks’. Clearly a man, who may or may not have been a chauvinistic neanderthal, came up with the phrase, while its validity is often forgotten the night before the MLB All-Star Game.
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Tomorrow night marks the 2015 MLB Home Run Derby, a celebration of big arms, big drives, and big … bats. For Boston Red Sox fans, unfortunately, none of their big ball-bashers will be able to perform that night. Save for utility player Brock Holt, none of the Red Sox top men were selected to play in the All-Star game the following night, which made them ineligible for the Derby.
However on July 13th, 2010, five years to the day, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and left fielder Hanley Ramirez were the featured friendly rivals in the Derby. Although, Ramirez was representing the Florida Marlins, as a shortstop, at the time.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com covered the event: “‘[I’m] too old doing this,’ Ortiz joked afterward. ‘It was good that they put me towards the end, because I get tired pretty easy when I hit and shut it down for a while.'”
The field of long-ball hitters consisted of the following, with home run numbers (Pre-ASG):
- Chris Young of the Arizona Diamondbacks – 15
- Vernon Wells of the Toronto Blue Jays – 19
- Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees – 15
- Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals – 16
- Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers – 22
- Corey Hart of the Milwaukee Brewers – 21
- Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins – 13
- David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox – 18
Round One Results:
- Corey Hart – 13 home runs
- Hanley Ramirez – 9 home runs
- David Ortiz – 8 home runs
- Miguel Cabrera – 7 home runs
- Matt Holliday – 5 home runs
- Nick Swisher – 4 home runs
- Vernon Wells – 2 home runs
- Chris Young -1 home run
Round Two Results:
- David Ortiz – 13 home runs (21 in total)
- Hanley Ramirez – 12 home runs (21 in total)
- Miguel Cabrera – 5 home runs (12 in total, 4th place)
- Corey Hart – 0 home runs (13 in total, 3rd place)
In 2010, Langosch said, “The Ortiz-Ramirez finals matchup alone provided plenty of intrigue. Not only are the two close friends, but each still speaks fondly of the time they shared in the Red Sox’s organization. Ramirez was dealt from Boston to Florida in a seven-play swap after the 2005 season.” The bond between the two men has stayed true to 2015, now playing along side each other, as Ramirez signed back with Boston this off-season.
During the final round, “Ortiz even offered the 26-year-old shortstop some advice as he brought him a drink and wiped off his sweat with a towel. [Ortiz said to Ramirez,] ‘Hey, take it easy, don’t get too tired, take your time, because that’s what the Home Run Derby is all about.'”
Ortiz told reporters that night, “I’m not really worried about winning or losing. I’m worried about the fans having a good show, and I think [Ramirez] did a [heck] of a job.” Ramirez also said, “[Ortiz is] one of the best [people] I’ve ever met in my life.”
Ortiz eventually won the competition, hitting 11 home runs, 32 in total, while Ramirez faded for 5 home runs, 26 in total.
Slow and steady wins the race in the Home Run Derby.
As is the case with many younger competitors, Hart fell victim of the cardinal sin: unleashing the hounds too early in the first round. He hit so many homers over the fence in the beginning that he had nothing left for the second round. Considering him and Cabrera had the most home runs coming into the Derby, fans must have been shocked when not only did they both get eliminated earlier than expected, but that Ramirez made it to the final round.
Hanley may have had the fewest home runs going into the Derby, but it’s not about the size of your first impression. It’s about where you stand when you’re done the job. Ramirez swung to a crescendo from the first to the second round. He just didn’t have enough stamina to continue in the last round, although he still got some shots in there.
Ortiz, like a seasoned veteran, stayed consistent throughout the night. He kept his cool and his head up when he didn’t see pitches that he wanted to tap over the fences, for the inevitable result of rejection. His strength showed all night and marked him victorious.
It’s worth noting that five years later, Ramirez is still following in his best friend’s footsteps, literally. He comes after Ortiz in the batting lineup for the Red Sox, both men starting to heat up their bats for more home runs. In the last 30 games, Ortiz leads the team with 8 home runs, Hanley a close second with 6 home runs. Now Ortiz and Ramirez can tell old stories to each other about their youth in the Dominican Republic in the very same dugout, instead of having to meet on special occasions like the Derby.
Only this time, they will have to tell them at home, as neither man was deemed an All-Star in 2015.
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