Big Papi’s Last Swing



Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz acknowledges cheers from fans after being introduced during a ceremony honoring him before a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Monday, March 28, 2016, in Fort Myers, Fla. Ortiz played his last spring training home game at jetBlue Park Monday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Aaron Benevides

The ALCS ended the Red Sox season after a three game sweep handed to them by the

Cleveland Indians. The series also ended the legendary career of David Ortiz; the teams

designated hitter since 2003.

Ortiz played in the MLB for 20 years, fourteen of which he spent in Boston. Ortiz was a

fan favorite, always playing with a big smile on his face and was never afraid to speak

what was on his mind. He changed baseball, not just for the Boston Red Sox, but in the

league as well.

The designated hitter position was primarily used for giving a player rest in the field or

when a player was recovering from an injury but could still hit. No team really used one

player as the primary designated hitter, until Ortiz came along. The Red Sox signed

Ortiz after he was released by the Minnesota Twins and had trouble finding a spot for

him. They had an established first baseman (Kevin Millar) at the time, but as Ortiz

started to show his offensive power and ability they needed a way to get him in the

lineup. They had him play as the designated hitter and as they say, the rest is history.

During his career with the Boston Red Sox, he helped bring the team to three World

Series championships; one being the 2004 World Series where the Red Sox broke the

curse of the Bambino and won their first championship in 86 years. The ten-time all-

star defines what a designated hitter should be.

Ortiz was the player that would impose fear on the opposing pitcher. When he would

walk up to the plate, spit on his gloves and clap his hands, pitchers immediately got

scared. They had every right to be, especially when it came to clutch hitting situations.

David Ortiz had 20 regular season walk off hits during the regular season, putting him

third on the list of all time walk off hits. During his career, he also hit four walk offs in

the post season, twice as many as any other player in MLB history.

Ortiz’s outstanding career can go on and on starting with the fact he had three walk off

hits in the 2004 playoffs alone, and brought the team to the world series pretty much all

by himself. In the 2013 World Series, he hit .668, drawing eight walks and hitting two

homeruns or that he ranks seventeenth all time on the home run list with 541.

However, Ortiz’s career is not only defined by what he accomplished on the field; he was

just as good off the field. Ortiz brought the city of Boston together after the Boston

Marathon Bombings in 2013, giving a speech that every Boston fan remembers. He did

not just bring the city together, he brought that team together and they went on to cross

the finish line holding that World Series trophy at the end of the season.

The one thing some fans will never forget about his career is just how much fun Ortiz

had. He always had a huge smile on his face. Even when the team was losing he would

always find a way to make everyone laugh and bring some life back.

Ortiz was not an average player; he was an idol to so many. Players trusted him and

always believed in him, the fans admired him for everything that he was able to

accomplish, and the children looked up to him and wanted to be him.

Ortiz will go down in history as one of the greatest players to have ever stepped foot on a

baseball field. As they say all good things must come to an end. Even though he is no

longer playing, his legacy will never die.

For fans who are upset about his retirement, pitchers are thankful that he will be not

stepping up to the plate against them anymore.