The Suffolk Journal

Commentary: Thank you Papi

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To the city of Boston, David Ortiz has become an icon. Ortiz has been a part of Red Sox baseball for the past 14 years and on his journey brought home three World Series championships, ended an 86-year championship drought, and broke the curse of the Bambino.

From day one, Ortiz knew he wanted to be “the guy” for Boston and has always been comfortable with that role even back when he first signed with the Red Sox as a free agent.

“David is as comfortable in his own skin as any pro athlete I’ve ever been around,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, who worked in Boston’s front office when Ortiz was acquired, told Barry Svarluga of the Washington Post.

“Just think about it: It all sort of seems normal now, but think back 20 years ago, or maybe a little further, but the idea of a strong-willed, strong-voiced, big, black Dominican man being by far the face of Boston sports — that wasn’t always normal.”

Being the face of the Red Sox allowed him the chance to shine brightly in every spotlight and being that front man allowed Ortiz to drop an F-bomb on live TV days after the terrorist bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Yet how was Ortiz able to rise to the superstar status we recognize him for today? Right after his release from the Minnesota Twins on Dec. 16, 2002. When the news had broke pitcher Pedro Martinez was immediately on the phone with the then-Red Sox GM Theo Epstein urging the team to sign Ortiz.

On Jan. 22, 2003 Ortiz officially became a member of the Boston Red Sox where he has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest designated hitters of all time.

From his home run in the 12th-inning to win Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, to avoiding a 4-0 sweep of the New York Yankees and then just one night later singling home the winning run in the bottom of the 14th to send the series back to New York where the rest went down in history as one of the greatest comebacks in baseball.

In 2006, Ortiz broke the team record for home runs with 54.

In 2007, he helped lead the Red Sox to their second world series title in 3 years batting an incredible .332/.445/.621 AVG/OBP/SLG split and hit 52 doubles, 35 home runs and 117 runs batted in, according to Bleacher Report.

In the 2007 World Series, Ortiz hit .333 (5-for-15) with three doubles and four runs batted in, according to the Bleacher Report. He even played first base in Games 3 and 4 in Colorado due to the National League not having a designated hitter position.

Finally in 2013, he finished off an impeccable postseason run with the Sox as he had a .688 average and went on to win the World Series MVP. Ortiz put the city of Boston on his back and proved to all of us what “Boston Strong” truly meant.

So thank you, Ortiz, for all you have done for this city. You proved to this whole city that even in the face of adversity we can join together as one and prove that two brothers cannot break this strength this city’s strength. With only 156 games remaining we, the fans, have to appreciate all that you have done for this city as you make your final curtain call.

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Commentary: Thank you Papi