Thank You, Big Papi
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Thank You, Big Papi

Looking back at the best moments of David Ortiz's career with the Red Sox.

Thank You, Big Papi

With the recent news that David Ortiz will retire after the 2016 season, Red Sox Nation, along with myself, is heartbroken that it's the end of an era. David Ortiz has been an icon in the city of Boston ever since he came over in 2003. It's going be hard knowing that this is the last season we'll see Big Papi suit up for the Red Sox, but we have to be grateful for what he brought to this team and this city. With this news, I think it's a good time to revisit some of the greatest moments of his career in Boston.

Welcome to Boston, David Ortiz

In 2002, Ortiz was playing for the Minnesota Twins. A good friend of his, Pedro Martinez, was playing for the Boston Red Sox. Martinez voiced his liking for Oritz to the Red Sox management, and in 2003, the Red Sox signed Ortiz, not knowing he would become one of the most notable Red Sox players in history. During his first year with Boston, he was fighting for playing time with Jason Giambi's brother, Jeremy Giambi. David got his chance to shine in an extra-innings game in April. He lead off the 14th inning with a huge solo home run that sent Fenway into a frenzy. But this was just the first of many times he would send Fenway into a frenzy.

2004 ALDS

It could be assumed that, in the 2004 ALDS against the Angels, even if the Red Sox lost Game 3, they still would have easily beaten them in the series. But thanks to Ortiz, they never had to find that out. Reliever Jarrod Washburn delivered his first pitch against Ortiz in the bottom of the 10th inning, and he smacked it over the fence to sweep the Angels and send them to face the Yankees in the ALCS.

2004 ALCS

The real legend of David Ortiz started early one morning in Oct. 2004. The Red Sox were down three games to zero in the ALCS against bitter rival New York. After Manny Ramirez singled in the bottom of the 12th inning, Ortiz came to bat. He sized up the pitch and ripped a walk-off home run into the night, keeping the Red Sox alive for another day. The Red Sox would not lose again that year. The following night, in the bottom of the 14th inning with Johnny Damon on second, Ortiz laced a base hit into center field, scoring Damon, and once again saving the Red Sox. The Red Sox went on to win the next two games and upset the Yankees. They then proceeded to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, winning their first World Series since 1918. Ortiz had placed himself in Red Sox history with two iconic swings of the bat.

Walk-off Home Runs

Although Oritz hit his fair share of walk-off hits and home runs, there was something different about him in 2005 and 2006. He was unstoppable when it came to clutch moments. There was a stretch of nine games in Sept. 2005 where he hit three game-winning home runs. Also, in June 2006, he hit walk-off hits in back-to-back games.

Home Run Record 2006

In the 115 years of the Boston Red Sox, no one has hit more home runs in a single season than David Ortiz. In 2006, he hit 54 home runs in only 151 games with the Red Sox, setting a record that has not been broken by any other Red Sox player. He broke the previous record of 50 home runs in a season held by Jimmie Foxx, whose record stood for 68 years.

2007 Postseason

While the 2007 World Series run did not have any iconic hits like 2004, Ortiz was just as effective. He was very thorough, batting .370 with three home runs, six doubles, and 10 RBIs in 14 games. His strong play helped the Red Sox capture their second championship in four years.

This Is Our F****** City!

With the aftermath of the Boston Bombings still fresh in everyone's minds, Ortiz delivered this speech before a Red Sox game on April 20, 2013. "All right, Boston, this jersey that we are wearing today, it doesn't say Red Sox. It says Boston. We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week. This is our f****** city, and nobody's gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong. Thank you."

2013 Grand Slam

Already down a game to the Detroit Tigers in the 2013 ALCS, the Red Sox were faced with the sad reality that they might fall behind two games to zero heading into Detroit. But in the bottom of the eighth inning, after the Red Sox loaded the bases, Ortiz sent a line drive just over the fence in center field for a clutch grand slam and iconic picture, as Torii Hunter fell over the fence and into the bullpen in an attempt to rob Ortiz of the home run.

2013 World Series

In the 2013 World Series, Ortiz was on another planet. He was 37 years old and still the most dangerous player on the team. In Game 1, he went two for three with a home run. In Game 2, he went two for three again with another home run. In Game 3, he was walked twice, but still managed to go one for two. In Game 4, down 2-1 in the series, he went three for three with a double and a run scored. In Game 5, he went three for four with a double and an RBI in the first inning. In the series-clinching Game 6, he was held hit-less, just because he was walked four times, and three of them were intentional. He batted .688 with a .760 on-base percentage and an OPS of 1.948. No one in the series even came close to those numbers.

500 Home Runs

On September 12, 2015, David Ortiz became the 27th player to hit 500 career home runs. He hit two home runs in the game against the Tampa Bay Rays. On Sept. 21, the Red Sox had a ceremony before their home game to honor Ortiz. Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, and Tim Wakefield were surprise guests to congratulate Ortiz on his accomplishments, and they officially named Sept. 21 as David Ortiz Day in Boston. I was lucky enough to attend that game with tickets I won. Although David didn't perform well, the young star, Xander Bogaerts, ripped a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth to seal the game, much like Ortiz just two years back.

So what's next for David Ortiz? I think he's going to give it his all this year, and push the Red Sox towards major improvements. The way I see it, with the talent the Red Sox had towards the end of the year, plus the revamping of the bullpen already starting with Craig Kimbrel coming here, the Red Sox could have another magical year. It would be a great story to win another championship during Big Papi's final year of baseball. It's a stretch, but I believe, and I know Red Sox Nation does, too. Keep the faith, and go Red Sox!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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