Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s career has been filled with clutch hits and memorable moments. Here are some of Big Papi’s biggest feats as he enters the finale of his regular-season career on Sunday at Fenway Park:
April 20, 2013
WORDS FOR HURTING CITY
Five days after two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 200 others, Ortiz was handed the microphone and spoke to the crowd on the field at Fenway before the Red Sox played the Kansas City Royals.
He expressed a passionate comment that will go down in Boston lore:
“This is our (expletive) city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom,” he said. “Stay strong.”
After the Red Sox beat the Royals in the first game at Fenway following the bombings, he said: “This past week, I don’t think there’s one human being who wasn’t affected by what was going on down here. I was emotional, very angry about the whole situation.”
Oct. 17, 2004
ALCS: TWO IN A DAY
It’s the 24-hour period that will mark Ortiz’s career as a clutch hitter.
Facing elimination against the rival Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway, Ortiz belted a 2-1 pitch from right-hander Paul Qauntrill into the Yankees’ bullpen for a two-run, walkoff homer in the 12th inning, giving the Red Sox a 6-4 victory and keeping their season alive.
Less than 23 hours later, Ortiz was at the plate in the 14th inning of a 4-4 game and Boston trailing the series 3-1. With runners on first and second and two outs, the slugger had an epic, 10-pitch at-bat that he capped by lining a soft single to shallow center against righty Esteban Loaiza, sending Johnny Damon home with the winning run and propelling the Red Sox as the first team to rally from a 0-3 deficit en route to their first World Series title in 86 years.
Oct. 13, 2013
ALCS GRAND SLAM
With Boston trailing 1-0 in the series to the Detroit Tigers and down 5-1 in Game 2 of the ALCS, Ortiz stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth against right-hander Joaquin Benoit. Big Papi hit a fly ball into Boston’s bullpen, just over the reach of right fielder Torii Hunter, who went tumbling — both feet high in the air — over the wall. One inning later, Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a game-ending RBI single and Boston was even in the series.
Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino said it best about Ortiz: “The guy’s an actor at work. It’s fun to watch. It’s great to see.”
Oct. 27, 2013
Boston trailed the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in the World Series and 2-1 entering the sixth. Before the inning started, the Red Sox slugger huddled his teammates together in the middle of the dugout and implored them to relax and play the way they’ve been all season. The Red Sox responded with three runs that inning, won the game and the next two to capture the title, his third with the club.
“Stud,” former Red Sox catcher David Ross said. “That’s why we call him ‘Cooperstown’. He does it every day. It’s unbelievable.”
Ortiz earned the MVP award by hitting .688 with two homers, eight walks and six RBIs in the series.
Oct. 8, 2004
ALDS SERIES-ENDING WALKOFF
After blowing a 6-1 lead in Game 3 of the ALDS against the then-Anaheim Angels, Ortiz came to the plate with a runner on first and two outs against left-hander Jarrod Washburn in the bottom of the 10th. He belted a homer into the Green Monster seats, giving Boston an 8-6 victory and a sweep of the series.
Sept. 12, 2015
Entering the game with 498 career homers — having reached that mark three days earlier in Fenway — Ortiz didn’t wait long to become the 27th player in history to reach the 500-home run club. He hit a three-run shot in the first on the road against Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore. Leading off the fifth, he sent a 2-2 pitch from Moore into the right-field seats.
Oct. 20, 2004
Boston came into Game 7 of the ALCS in Yankee Stadium looking to become the first team in major league history to finish a comeback trailing 3-0. Ortiz stepped to plate in the top of the first and hit a pitch from Kevin Brown into the right-field seats, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead en route to a 10-3 victory. Ortiz was named the ALCS MVP.
Oct. 23, 2004
WHAT A FIRST
Playing in his first World Series game, Ortiz batted in the bottom of the first with two runners on and hit the second pitch from Woody Williams down the right-field line, inside the Pesky Pole and into the seats, giving Boston an early lead.
April 1, 2014
During Boston’s trip to the White House to be honored as World Series champions, Ortiz pulled off a rare feat, taking out his cellphone and persuading President Barack Obama to pose for a selfie with the slugger. Holding a Red Sox jersey with a “No. 44” and “Obama” on the back, the president obliged, saying “It’s a Big Papi selfie” before the photo.