Red Sox legend David Ortiz had the ultimate World Series clutch gene

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox in actions against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Six of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park on October 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox in actions against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Six of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park on October 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox have hung four World Series banners in recent history and several of them have been thanks to the man we know as “Big Papi.”

In 2004 the Red Sox would raise their first of four World Series championships in recent history and a big man played a big role in achieving that title. David Ortiz was a massive contributor in not only breaking the Curse of the Bambino in 2004 but the subsequent titles won in 2007 and 2013. Big Papi was just another player in the league while with Minnesota but a trade to Boston would awaken a postseason beast.

Though he wouldn’t make much noise during his first postseason with the Red Sox he would soon show why Boston wanted him. The 2004 season saw Ortiz become an October juggernaut that would not be stopped. When things were at their darkest during the ALCS, it was Papi that put the cape on and saved the day. He would notch a .387/.457/.742/1.199 slash line during the ALCS and had two of the greatest walk-off efforts in Game 4 and Game 5.

The Red Sox would vanquish their long-time foes and make their way to St. Louis to face the Cardinals. It didn’t matter the magnitude of the stage, Ortiz would continue to wreck any baseball that came near him at the plate. Boston would defeat the Cardinals in just four games to become World Series champions for the first time in 86 years.

In 2007, Papi would continue his tirade against his postseason competition and put up a .333/.412/.533/.945 mark against Colorado. Though it wasn’t his strongest performances in the World Series or even of the 2007 postseason, he still flexed his clutch gene. It wasn’t always a matter of what kind of hits he was getting but when. He also had plenty of help thanks to the emergence of Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Ortiz would see his final World Series charge in 2013 and with much of his prime behind him. Having been in the league for nearly 20 years many thought he wouldn’t have much left in the tank.

The naysayers were proven wrong in a damn hurry as he would post numbers that were off the charts. Seriously, his efforts against the Cardinals were ridiculous in 2013. He tallied a .688/.760/.1.188/.1.948 line while going 11/16 with two homers, eight walks, and just a single strikeout.

Papi will always be remembered for the big hits and the numbers he put on the scoreboard but his legacy will reach far beyond that. He will forever be a legend of the Red Sox organization thanks to his ability to lift the team on and off the diamond. His ability to come through when his team needed him the most while also raising those around him is beyond remarkable.

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We’ve seen the clutch gene in players all over sports, those who rise to the occasion when the lights are shining the brightest. David Ortiz is without a shadow of a doubt on the Mount Rushmore of clutch athletes. He signed with the Red Sox knowing that his role was to get the big hits when they mattered the most, and he didn’t disappoint.

Not only did Papi become a leader in the clubhouse but he became a leader in the community as well. When the city was struck by the bombing at the Boston Marathon, it was Ortiz that got on the mic soon after and gave one of the most heartfelt speeches ever delivered. The city would band together through the tragedy and use his words as a bonding agent to unite.

You see, a player can be clutch not only on the field but also off of it. That’s the type of man that David Ortiz is and what he means to the city of Boston can never fully be described.

While with the Red Sox he helped heal a broken heart by delivering a World Series in 2004. He then healed it again after the bombing in 2013, once again bringing together an entire community.

The Red Sox not only signed a designated hitter in the winter of 2003 but they also opened the door for one of their greatest legends. This originally started as a way to show how clutch Ortiz was when Boston needed him in October, but it became more because David did as well.

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Big Papi will go down as one of the most clutch players in the history of the game but he came through more often than not when the community needed him the most as well. To this day he continues to be a beacon of positivity not only for the city of Boston but for the Red Sox organization.