During his 14 seasons in Boston David Ortiz created some of the greatest moments in Boston sports history. He helped rally a city back from despair, he helped break an 86-year curse. Big Papi has a lot of real estate in the Boston Red Sox history books. Here are the top-five moments from Papi’s career.
5. 2013 World Series vs. St. Louis Cardinals
En route to the franchise’s eighth title, Ortiz put the entire Boston offense on his back in the 2013 World Series. Ortiz batted .688/.760/.1.188 with an OPS of 1.948. In the six-game series the DH recorded 11 hits, two home runs, eight walks, drove in six runs and scored seven times; all while only striking out once. Jacoby Ellsbury had the next highest batting average for Boston at .250.
Along with the quantitative mark he left on the series, Ortiz delivered a much-needed speech to his dugout in the middle of game four. Boston was in danger of falling into a 3-1 deficit before Ortiz rallied the group to tie the series at two games apiece. The Red Sox closed out the series three nights later for the first time at Fenway Park in 95 years.
4. “This is our ******* city”
Just days after the Boston Marathon was bombed David Ortiz took the mound pregame in the first game back at Fenway. Ortiz delivered a heartwarming and unexpected speech to rally the city. Although it may not necessarily be his greatest moment, it just might be his most memorable. Ortiz left the fans with one message that afternoon, “this is our ******* city, and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.
3. 2013 ALCS Game 2 Grand Slam
The Red Sox were on the verge of dropping their first two games of the ALCS before even heading to Detroit. Ortiz stepped to the plate in the eighth inning in a 5-1 hole and the bases loaded. Papi took Joaquin Benoit‘s first-pitch changeup into the Red Sox’s bullpen. The grand slam also created one of the greatest photos baseball has seen; Torii Hunter went head over heels into the bullpen in pursuit of Ortiz’s ball. Joe Buck’s call on Fox is one that can give Sox fans goosebumps to this day, “hard hit into right, back at the wall — tie game!”
2. 2004 ALCS Game 5 Walk-Off Single
In the midst of the greatest seven-game series comeback in sports history, David Ortiz brought the magic in games four and five. Ortiz took the box in a 4-4 tie in the 14th inning of game five of the ALCS. Big Papi served a 2-2 pitch into centerfield as Johnny Damon came around from second to close the gap in the series.
1. 2004 ALCS Game 4 Walk-Off HR
Similar to what game five would have in store, Ortiz stepped to the plate in a 4-4 tie fighting to break an 86-year curse. Game four made its way past midnight before Ortiz came up in the bottom of the 12th. Ortiz deposited the 2-1 pitch into the Yankee bullpen and Joe Buck gave us yet another memorable call, “Ortiz into deep right field, back is Sheffield — we’ll see you later tonight!”
This home run began the slow crawl back into the series for Boston. The Red Sox went on to win four straight games, including the last two in Yankee Stadium.
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