Babe Ruth, Carlton Fisk and Ted Williams were some of the greatest players in baseball history, and they were also all Red Sox.
You would absolutely have to put David Ortiz in that same pantheon of greatness based on the fact that he brought home three World Series to Beantown, including the first World Series victory in 86 years with Ortiz leading the charge in 2004.
And David Ortiz is nothing if not consistent given the fact that Ortiz helped the Red Sox win the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals twice - once in 2004 and once again in 2013. In the 2013 World Series, you guessed it, David Ortiz was named the Most Valuable Player.
David Ortiz actually hails from the Dominican Republic and holds down the nickname of "Big Papi" for obvious reasons. For those who've seen Ortiz in action at Fenway, the first thing that you notice from the hard-swinging southpaw is his huge stature and brash style.
Those hard cuts at the plate actually earned Ortiz over 2,000 hits throughout his career (2,472 to be exact) and 541 home runs. That's pretty darn impressive considering only twenty seven players in Major League Baseball history are in the 500 club. Perhaps the only Red Sox player more recognizable, Babe Ruth, ended his career with 714 home runs - eclipsed by Hank Aaron in 1974.
So, aside from home runs how did Big Papi do throughout his career in terms of batting titles, MVP honors, and other batting accolades? Ortiz actually collected ten all-star appearance throughout his career, including in all his World Series championship years: 2004, 2007 and 2013. In fact, though, Ortiz finished strong before retiring at 40 by pulling down his last all-star appearance earlier this year.
In addition to nearly a dozen all-star appearances - most players would be happy with just one - Ortiz took home an American League Hank Aaron Award in 2004, six Silver Slugger Awards (given to the hottest hitter at each position in the national and american league), and seven Edgar Martinez awards. The Edgar Martinez Award is given to the league's most outstanding designated hitters, which leads up into our first Ortiz moment.
A lot of people don't know this but David Ortiz actually started out playing for the Minnesota Twins. He played with that squad from 1997 through 2002 until he was traded to the Red Sox in a fateful decision in time for the 2003 season. A little way into that season Ortiz was given enough spotlight to really showcase his talents.
Amazing at it might seem to some now, Ortiz didn't start games that often in the early part of the 2003 season. It took until the 14th inning of April 27th's game against the Angels for then manager Grady Little to see the wisdom in pinch hitting Ortiz, who proceeded to crack his first long ball to opposite field and scintillatingly seal the deal for the Red Sox.
Before the Red Sox squared off against their arch rivals, the New York Yankees, for the 2004 ALCS they faced the Angels in the ALDS. The game went 10 innings before Johnny Damon slapped a single to get on base and Ortiz slammed a series-clinching homer over Jarod Washburn. The infamous Ortiz helmet-flip followed, and the rest is history.
It's not as if David Ortiz needed to validate his love of and support from Boston fans, but on April 20th Ortiz addressed a harrowed though hopeful crowd to deliver perhaps the most memorable speech of his career. Ortiz took the microphone just days after the Boston Bombing and reminded around 40,000 fans that Boston "is our city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom." For all of his highlights and awards on the field, that might have been Ortiz's realest, bravest moment.