Big Papi Retires

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David Ortiz “Big Papi”

David Ortiz “Big Papi”

The Boston Red Sox and the rest of Major League Baseball will say farewell to baseball legend David Ortiz, otherwise known as “Big Papi” as he announced that this will be his last year playing. The Red Sox’ season ended against Cleveland in Fenway Park last Monday night. Cleveland completed a three-game sweep against Boston, advancing to the American League Championship Series and ending the Red Sox playoff hopes. However, many Red Sox fans are more upset over the fact that they will never see David Ortiz play again, rather than the fact that the season is over. Ortiz had a sensational 20-year career, over which he established a remarkable legacy for himself.

 

David Ortiz first played baseball at Estudia Espallat High School in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz’s father played baseball in Dominican pro and semipro leagues and was an inspiration for him. In 1992, David Ortiz signed with the Seattle Mariners- where he played for 4 years- until being traded to the Minnesota Twins. Ortiz debuted in the Major League with the Twins in 1997, but was released by them in 2002 after knee injuries. This release led Ortiz to sign with the Boston Red Soxs in 2003, and the rest is history.  Ortiz played first base, but is widely know as one of the greatest and most clutch designated hitters (DH). Just one year after being signed, Ortiz finished with 41 home runs and a .301 batting average, leading the Red Sox to their first world series championship since 1918. 3 years later, Ortiz finished in the top 10 in the American League for home runs, rbi’s, and batting average, yet again leading the Red Sox to another world series championship. Ortiz then played 9 more seasons with the Red Sox, battling injuries while earning numerous accolades and winning another World Series championship in 2013. Among Ortiz’s many achievements, the most prominent include:

  • 3-Time world series champion
  • 9-Time All-Star
  • MLB record for most HR in a single season (54)
  • Hank Aaron Award (awarded to best hitter)
  • Home Run Derby Winner (2010)
  • Roberto Clemente Award (best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, and community involvement)

 

Ortiz won countless other awards such as ‘hitter of the year’ and ‘outstanding designated hitter’. In addition, David Ortiz will likely be considered for induction into the hall of fame.

 

The biggest influence that Ortiz had for Boston was not necessarily his stats or baseball achievements but, his love and compassion for the city. This emotion was displayed in his speech following the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, where many innocent people were killed and injured. Ortiz was uncensored and unstrained in his speech and showed his love for Boston. Here is a link to Ortiz’s speech:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf2QGHTxgu0 (warning: contains explicit language)

 

Ortiz gave strength to the city of Boston and brought even more support from around America from this speech. He became an icon for the city of Boston and the face of the Red Sox organization. Ortiz was for Boston what Derek Jeter was for the New York Yankees. David Ortiz will leave behind a legacy as one of the greatest designated hitters of all time, one of the greatest Red Sox of all time, and an iconic figure for the city of Boston.

 

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