DH – David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
Was there any other choice? Often times in sports we see legendary icons honored in their final seasons with an All-Star selection that can essentially be considered a lifetime achievement award. Guys like Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant didn’t have All-Star caliber seasons in their final year, but fans voted them in anyway because they wanted to see those future Hall of Fame players on this stage one last time. Therefore an honorary All-Star spot becomes a part of their retirement tour.
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This is not one of those times. Ortiz may be making his last trip to the Mid-Summer Classic, but he’s earning every bit of it. Big Papi leads the league by a mile with a stunning 1.150 OPS, a number topped only 14 times in the past 50 years. Most of those previous instances came at the height of the steroid era, with Barry Bonds accounting for four of these seasons himself.
Ortiz is also first in extra-base hits (44) and RBI (55), second in batting average (.346), fourth in home runs (16) and 8th in WAR (3.1, which is amazing for a guy that contributes nothing defensively).
Not to mention the historic doubles pace that he is on. Ortiz leads the league with 27 doubles, putting him on pace for just shy of 72. The current Major League record is held by former Red Sox outfielder Earl Webb, who hit 67 doubles back in 1931.
Ortiz is finishing his career with a bang and is on his way to his 10th and (we think) final All-Star appearance.