The Dugout Phone
Like any player, Ortiz has been known to get a little angry when he takes particular objection to a call on the field. Maybe even a little too angry. He’s had his fair share of ejections, he’s been in the center of brawls, he’s even broken a bat over his head. But how many players can say that they’ve destroyed a dugout phone the way he did.
His First With The Red Sox
Before Ortiz joined the Red Sox, he was a relatively unknown 1B/DH with the Minnesota Twins that was cut prior to the 2003 season. So it’s no surprise that he started his Red Sox career as a part-time player. But on April 27, 2003, during a night game in Anaheim, that started to change. Called in as a pinch-hitter in the 14th inning, he took a pitch to the opposite field for his first in a Red Sox uniform, and the rest was history.
Home Run #500
Needing 34 home runs at the onset of his age 39 season, Ortiz wasn’t exactly a lock to reach the 500 career home run mark. Sure, he’d finish with 35 but not many expected a player of his age to play the way he did down the stretch. Then again, they didn’t think he’d do it again in 2016 and we all know how that turned out. Number 500 was far from his last, but it was a memorable moment nonetheless that also gave us an iconic Don Orsillo call.
Passing Teddy Ballgame
Only 19 players in the entirety of Major League Baseball’s history have hit more home runs than Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter to ever live. One of those men is David Ortiz. Considering how important Williams and Ortiz have been to the franchise, this moment is one that fans will remember for a long time.
His Final Season
Not to be outdone by age, Ortiz had the single greatest season by a 40-year-old in MLB history. Better than Barry Bonds, better than Ted Williams, better than Mickey Mantle. He hit .315/.401/1.021 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs, and 48 doubles. No other player hit as many home runs, drove in as many runs, or posted as high a slugging percentage as Ortiz did in his age-40 season. He said goodbye to the game better than anyone ever had.