Red Sox: Top 7 David Ortiz Moments
As Red Sox fans get ready to watch David Ortiz in his final season, here is a look back at his top seven moments.
Although this is his final season, David Ortiz has shown no signs of slowing down, having belted one over the fence in each of the first two games of the 2016 season. In honor of Big Papi looking as good as he ever has at the plate, here are his top seven moments as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Number Seven: Back-to-Back-to-Back Home Runs in Game 4 Of The 2007 ALCS
From 2003-2008, Red Sox fans were lucky enough to witness one of the greatest hitting duos of all-time: David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. With Ortiz batting third, and Manny Ramirez at clean-up, the two offensive powerhouses led the Red Sox to two World Series, often hitting back-to-back home runs in the process.
And in Game 4 of the 2007 American League Championship Series, the duo became a trio, when Kevin Youkilis, Ortiz, and Ramirez hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. While those would be the only runs scored by the Red Sox in their 3-7 loss to the Cleveland Indians, it may have been a momentum shifter. The Red Sox went on to dominate the Indians in Games 5, 6, and 7, and advance to the World Series which, of course, they would eventually win.
Number Six: Breaks Red Sox Single Season Home Run Record
On August 21, 2006, David Ortiz broke the Red Sox single-season home run record. Ortiz hit his 51st home run off Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana, who would go on to win his second Cy Young Award. Ortiz broke the record of Baseball Hall of Famer and Red Sox Legend Jimmie Foxx who, in 1938, hit 50 home runs, recorded 175 RBIs, a .349 batting average, and was named the American League MVP.
Ortiz went on the finish the 2006 season with 54 home runs, 137 RBIs, and a .287 batting average. His 54 home runs were a career high and the highest total in the American League. He finished second in the majors to Phillies’ first baseman Ryan Howard, who recorded 58 home runs. Ortiz ended the year with a Silver Slugger award, his third All-Star selection, and finished third in MVP voting.
Number Five: David Ortiz Grand Slam In Game 2 Of The 2013 ALCS
The 2013 American League Championship Series did not start off well for the Boston Red Sox. After falling 1-0 to the Detroit Tigers in Game One, the Red Sox found themselves down 5-1 going into the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 2. With two outs and the bases loaded, Ortiz took matters into his own hands, and belted a grand-slam into the bullpen off the first pitch he saw from Joaquín Benoit.
The Red Sox went on to win the game with a walk-off RBI single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia. They went on to win the series in six games and then their third World Series in ten years.
Number Four: Walk-Off Home Run In Game 3 Of The 2004 ALDS
The Red Sox faced off against the Anaheim Angels in the 2004 American League Division Series. In Games One and Two, with Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez on the mound, the Red Sox dominated the Angels, winning Game One 9-3 and Game Two 8-3. In Game Three, however, with Bronson Arroyo on the mound for the Red Sox squaring off against Kelvim Escobar, the Angels began to battle back.
After the sixth inning, the Red Sox led the Angels 6-1, but in the top of the seventh, the Angels rallied back and scored five runs to tie it. And then, in the bottom of the tenth inning, after a single by Johnny Damon, David Ortiz came to the plate to face reliever Jarrod Washburn and belted one into the monster to send the Red Sox to face the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
Number Three: 500th Home Run
The one redeeming aspect of the 2015 season for the Boston Red Sox was David Ortiz hitting his 500th homerun. On September 12, Ortiz hit a solo-shot off Matt Moore of the Tampa Bay Rays. Ortiz finished the 2015 season with thirty-seven home runs and a career total of 503. At present, he has 505 home runs, and sits at number twenty-six on the all-time home run list, just behind Gary Sheffield and Mel Ott, who sit at 509 and 511 home runs respectively.
In 2016, Ortiz has the chance to pass fellow Red Sox legend Ted Williams, who sits at No. 19 on the all-time list, tied with Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas, with 521 home runs. If he is able to hit twenty-nine more home runs this year, he will be able to pass another Red Sox legend, Jimmie Foxx, who sits at eighteenth all-time, with 534 home runs, just two behind Yankees great Mickey Mantle.
Number Two: Walk-Off Hit In Game 5 Of The 2004 ALCS
Our next two David Ortiz moments are, obviously, from the greatest series in Red Sox, and perhaps even MLB, history. In Game 5, going into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Red Sox were down 2-4 against the Yankees when Ortiz began the inning with a solo shot, which was then followed with a walk by Kevin Millar, a pinch-run by Dave Roberts, a single by Trot Nixon, and then a sacrifice fly by Jason Varitek to tie the game at 4-4.
The game went into extra innings and then, in the bottom of the 14th, David Ortiz, with two outs and two men on base, hit a walk-off single to win the game and send the series to Game 6 in New York.
Number One: Walk-Off Home Run In Game 4 Of The 2004 ALCS
Number one is, of course, Papi’s walk-off home run in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Who could forget the game’s ninth inning? The Red Sox are losing 3-0 in the series to Yankees, they’re down in the game 4-3 with Mariano Rivera on the mound in the bottom of the ninth. Rivera walks Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts pinch runs, steals second, and then Bill Mueller drives a single up the middle to tie the game.
Next: Adjustments working for Ramirez at the plate
Then, in the bottom of the 12th inning, Ortiz hit a two-run home run off Paul Quantrill to win the game. Ortiz’s home run marked the beginning of the greatest come back in MLB history. The Red Sox would go on to win the next three games, becoming the first team to ever come back from a three game deficit. David Ortiz was named the series MVP, and became the first player to hit two walk-off home runs in the post season. The Red Sox would go on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in their first World Series win in 86 years.