Ortiz Retires: No One Can Replace Big Papi

Cason Poythress '20, Staff Writer

David Ortiz played Major League Baseball for 19 years until he retired at age 40. This news resounded through out the world of Baseball.

He is only 9 years younger than the oldest player in MLB history. He was a designated hitter and occasionally played first base. Ortiz started his career with the Minnesota Twins, but he spent the majority of his time with the Boston Red Sox, 2003 to 2016.

Ortiz is a 3 time all star player, a 3 time world series champion and currently the holder of the Boston Red Sox single season home run record with 54, set during the 2006 season. Ortiz also hit a total of 541 total career home runs which ranks 17th in MLB history.

Many Red Sox and MLB fans are pushing for him to cancel his retirement and continue his career but Ortiz was quoted by ESPN as having said, “Everything hurts, it even hurts to think, last time I reached second after a double I almost called for a timeout so they would get me out of the game. I can barely run, my feet hurt so much, I am in severe pain.”

Ortiz was quoted by ABC News as having said about his multiple years in the MLB, “one often tries to live in the moment, and even when your body is saying no, you say yes…mental strength convinces you that you can continue…But the body is a machine; it will give out and will send you a bill.”

David Ortiz’s final season in the MLB is phenomenal, after turning 40 in November, he leads the MLB for extra-base hits with 48, the most since Barry Bonds with 48 in 2001. Ortiz is also the MLB leader of doubles with 28, slugging percentage with .699, and OPS with 1.118. Ortiz told ESPN about his hero on the diamond; “Barry Bonds is the best hitter in baseball history. If there is someone who actually knows about batting and how good a hitter is, he does. For me, there’s no doubt he’s the best hitter in the history of baseball, and him saying that about me is more than an honor. He knows what it takes to dominate in this league.

Ortiz wrote a farewell letter to fans on his last day in the MLB. The Red Sox season is over amid speculation that it should not have ended so soon. Ortiz’s jersey number, 34, will be retired in his honor.