4. David Ortiz’ two homers to open 2016 season
On his farewell tour of 2016, after declaring this year his last season, Ortiz wanted nothing more to get off to a fast start to quiet the omnipresent critics that the 40 year old is not the same as he used to be. Another subpar Spring brought about the usual whispers that maybe Big Papi would embarrass himself in his last season. Facing former Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber might be a long day for Papi. In the end those fears were unfounded. Kluber did not have his best stuff on the day and Ortiz touched him up for a double.
Later on, as the Red Sox hung on to a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning, a long fly out of his previous at-bat was corrected into a towering home run for Ortiz. This made the score 6-2 and made it easy for Kimbrel’s first game with the team to close the win out.
Though the team didn’t win the next night, Ortiz’s homer off Carlos Carrasco made the Large Father just the second player after Ted Williams to homer in his first two games of a season over the age of 40, who did so at the age of 41 in his last season of 1960. While the Red Sox were not able to prevail on this night, losing 7-6, it showed the big man still has the fire of competition, inspiring the team to a never-say-die attitude that helped them the next night in Toronto when Holt’s heroics jolted the team toward victory.
Next: 5. Hanley Ramirez transition to first base