Red Sox: Where David Ortiz ranks in franchise, MLB history
By Sean Penney
A reflection on where designated hitter David Ortiz stands in the history of the Boston Red Sox, as well as Major League Baseball.
Welcome to David Ortiz week! With the Boston Red Sox set to retire No. 34 at Fenway Park this Friday, we’re dedicating the days leading up to the ceremony to the iconic slugger.
To kick things off, let’s reflect on the staggering numbers that Ortiz produced over his 20 seasons in the big leagues. Not only will he be remembered as one of the greatest hitters in Red Sox history, he’s arguably the best player to fill the designated hitter role on a regular basis in major league history.
That’s no small task. While being relegated primarily to DH duty held Ortiz back in all-encompassing stats such as WAR and certainly cost him some MVP votes over the years, it’s not as easy as he often made it look. It takes a certain mindset to be a DH. Some players struggle to adapt to the role, feeling too detached from the game while spending most of it on the bench to be able to focus when the time comes to step up to the plate.
Not the case for Ortiz, who mastered the art of being a DH. Being considered among the best to ever play your position – any position – is a tremendous accomplishment.
How does Ortiz stack up to other hitters from a historical perspective? We’ll examine his place in franchise history based on the numbers he put up in a Red Sox uniform as well as where his overall career numbers rank in MLB history. Let’s not forget those postseason accomplishments either.