Big Papi Announces Retirement After 2016 Season
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, after hitting his 500th career home run in his age 39 season, has decided to call it quits, electing to retire after the 2016 baseball season.
“Every single one of us, athletes-wise, we run out of time at some point,” said Ortiz on The Player’s Tribune, a website owned by former shortstop Derek Jeter. “Life is based on different chapters and I think I’m ready to experience the next one in my life.”
Ortiz is considered one of the greatest and most clutch hitters in Red Sox history. Ortiz was an integral member of the 2004, 2007, and 2013 Red Sox World Series Championships, especially in 2013 when Ortiz hit two key home runs and batted .688 in the World Series.
As Ortiz plans his final season in Major League Baseball, here are some of Ortiz’s greatest moments in baseball.
July 26, 2003: Ortiz’s first walk off hit
Ortiz came in to pinch hit for Damian Jackson in the bottom of the ninth and he delivered. Ortiz hit a two-out single through left field that scored Jeremy Giambi, lifting the Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the rivaled
Ortiz hits the go-ahead double in Game 4 of the 2003 ALDS
With the Red Sox trailing 4-3 and facing elimination against the Oakland A’s, Ortiz delivered. Ortiz would drive a Keith Foulke ball to right field, scoring Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. The Red Sox would win the game and ultimately the series in one of the greatest postseason comebacks in baseball.
Ortiz hits a walk off home run to send the Red Sox to the 2004 ALCS
In game three against the Angels in the 2004 ALDS, Ortiz blasted a home run against Angels pitcher Jarrod Washburn to lift the Red Sox into the ALCS with an 8-6 victory in the bottom of the ninth. The walk off home run started an amazing 2004 post season for Ortiz.
Ortiz breaks the Red Sox single-season home run record
In 2006, Ortiz decided to rewrite the record books. He hit 54 home runs during the 2006 season, surpassing Jimmie Foxx’s previous record of 50 home runs. Ortiz would finish second for the MVP award during the 2006 season.
Ortiz wins the 2010 Home Run Derby
Ortiz won the 2010 Home Run Derby by hitting 35 home runs, 11 in the final round in order to rout Hanley Ramirez for the title. Ortiz is the first Red Sox player to earn the award.
Ortiz ties game two of the 2013 ALCS with an eighth inning grand slam
The Red Sox trailed the Detroit Tigers 5-1. With the bases loaded, Ortiz came up to the plate, and he delivered once again. Ortiz hit a grand slam to the right field bullpen, tying the game. The Red Sox would go on to win the game 6-5 as well as the series.
Ortiz rallies the Red Sox fans after the Boston bombings
Five days after a devastating and emotional attack at the Boston Marathon, Ortiz stood on the field in front of the Red Sox crowd. He addressed the fans with an emotional speech, the location that brought us the “this is our city” slogan. The slogan held for the remainder of the season and rallied the team as the 2013 World Series champions.
Ortiz hits 500 home runs
On September 12 of this season, Ortiz would hit his 500th career home run. Ortiz is the 27th player in baseball history to achieve this accomplishment and the third Red Sox player to do so, joining Ted Williams and Manny Ramirez in the “500 home run club.”
Ortiz’s walk-off home run in game four of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees
In what will forever be known as the greatest comeback in sports history and the greatest moment in Red Sox history, the Red Sox found themselves all but eliminated in the 2004 ALCS when the Yankees held a 3-0 series lead. Ortiz would mount the greatest comeback ever in sports when he hit a 12th inning walk-off home run in game four. The Red Sox would go on to win four games in a row, make it to the World Series, and the rest was history.