2001-2020 Red Sox: David Ortiz
The most famous baseball player in the whole world right now and the newest member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame: David Ortiz. Ortiz is, arguably, the most important player in the history of the franchise. Bringing three championships to Beantown, two of which were some of the most important in the history of the sport, Ortiz will always be viewed as a god in the eyes of Bostonians.
Ortiz slugged 541 home runs over a 20-year career, winning the home run derby in 2010. While his ability to hit home runs was elite, it was his poise that illustrated his Hall of Fame career. In every World Series run, it became almost routine for Ortiz to come up and produce. He is arguably the most clutch performer in baseball history.
The announcement of Ortiz’s retirement was tragic to Red Sox Nation, not just because of his impact, but because of the amount of baseball he still had left in him. In his final season, at 40 years old, he slashed .315/.401/.620.
While every player on this list was significantly impactful on the field, Ortiz was, by far, the most impactful off the field. His speech in 2013 after the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon will forever live in Boston lore.