The situation: 2013 World Series
The moment: Ortiz’s .688 average leads Red Sox to series win over the Cardinals
It was almost comical how much Ortiz carried the Red Sox in the 2013 World Series. Of the 27 runs Boston scored during their six-game victory over the Cardinals, 13 were either driven in or scored by Ortiz.
The averages of Red Sox players in that series look like a group of pitchers: Stephen Drew hit .158, Jonny Gomes hit .118, Daniel Nava hit .143, and Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino both hit .154. The one player who hit over .250 was Big Papi, who hit an inconceivable .688 en route to winning World Series MVP.
For a moment, it looked like Ortiz’s contribution would all be for naught. The Red Sox lost two of the first three games, including an absolutely heartbreaking, walk-off defeat in Game 3. Game 4 was more of the same, as the Red Sox trailed 1-0 going into the top of the fifth.
Before the Red Sox came to bat, Ortiz gathered the team and gave them the pep talk to end all pep talks. “I told them we had been in this situation before and that we had a better team than we had showed,” he said afterward.
Ortiz, of course, would back up his words with his bat. He led off the fifth with a ringing double into the right-field gap and came rumbling home on a Stephen Drew sac fly to tie the game. After making that speech, Ortiz would go an incredible 5-for-6, and the Red Sox would head back to Boston with a 3-2 lead in the series.
The Cardinals finally decided to stop pitching to him in Game Six, intentionally walking him three times, but it didn’t matter. The Red Sox closed out the series with a 6-1 win, and Ortiz would take home MVP honors in one of the most incredible World Series performances of all time.