The three-time World Series champion had a historic career. He should be a no doubt first ballot Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, David Ortiz is coming back to the club in 2018.
For David Ortiz, the Dominican Republic and Boston has been home since 2003. In four years, he might be enshrined into a third one: the Hall of Fame. The long time DH for the Boston Red Sox retired after one of the best final seasons in MLB history. Not only has Boston retired his number 34 forever. The city and it’s fans have also pushed his case for the Hall of Fame.
In 151 games played in 2016, the slugger hit .315 with 38 home runs and 127 RBIs at age 40. The 10 time All Star’s season ended after being swept by the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. He took the field one final for his teary goodbye, to illustrate the connections to his fans.
His career accomplishments go beyond last season. He was a three-time World Series Champion (2004, 2007, 2013) and World Series MVP in 2013. Ortiz hit 541 career home runs with 2,472 hits, and had a career .286 batting average and 1,768 RBIs. His RBI total is the most among any designated hitter in the history of baseball. That is more than Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, and Don Baylor.
The Boston Red Sox have agreed to let him help with player development effective this season. Having the father-like role will help boost the confidence in the players. He will be the mentor he always was as a player, without the risk of injury. (I write as a joke…)
Off the Field
His contributions on the field are not the only grounds for his induction. His altruism and kindness have shown that he was a great ambassador for the sport. Whether it be visiting the Boston Children’s Hospital on off days and before games, his endless work with The Jimmy Fund, and working with Make A Wish to help grant wishes for thousands of children and teens.
In the midst of the 2003 season, Ortiz failed a player survey about PEDs, while never actually failing a test. Players like Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Ryan Braun, and many others confessed to using PEDs. Ortiz has never tested positive.
No matter who gets to vote when he’s up for the first time in 2022, he will be one of the most popular names on the ballot. With his legacy being spread around Boston, it would be fitting if the most decorated designated hitter in the history of the sport is recognized in Cooperstown. If the greats are enshrined, certainly you would want to best DH in there.
Photo Cred: www.necn.com