Boston Red Sox Retire David Ortiz‘s Number, Now Onto The Hall of Fame Fight
The Boston Red Sox retired their franchise’s most valuable player.
That player is none other than Designated Hitter and three-time World Series Champion David Ortiz.
Ortiz’s No.34 was retired by the Boston Red Sox organization on Friday night with a pregame ceremony. The ceremony included members of Ortiz’s family, Pedro Martinez, and other key members of the Red Sox organization.
Martinez whose No.45 was retired the previous season, started things off talking about his fellow countrymen from the Dominican Republic.
The ceremony was nice, fans were excited, and the appearance of Ortiz seemed to be needed in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse. Retiring Ortiz’s number so early after his retirement seems odd though. Prior to this, one of the requirements the Red Sox has had to retire numbers was making it into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ortiz is the second non-hall of fame to be retired by the Boston Red Sox . His No.34 joins Bobby Doerr, Joe Cronin, Carl Yastrzemski, Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Carlton Fisk, Jackie Robinson (retired by all teams), and Pedro Martinez.
While Ortiz continues to be mentioned as a “Future Hall of Famer”, his chances of making it into the hall are not as great as many fans would think.
Offensively, he has the stats to be enshrined in Cooperstown. 541 home runs, 1768 RBIs, and a career .286 batting average. But critics will point to the fact that he played the majority of his career as a DH.
In his career, he played 278 games at first base, compared to 2029 he played as a DH. Not playing the field has been a big deal to Hall of Fame voters. Not playing the field paired with the fact that there is still a PED tie to him will likely turn voters away from “Big Papi”.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. He is more than just a DH to Boston, he is a hero.
In the postseason David Ortiz played in 85 games and had a .289 batting average with 17 home runs and 61 RBIs. But what sets him apart is what he was able to do in 14 World Series games.
In the World Series, David Ortiz had a .455 AVG which is historic. Even more historic is his .688 AVG in the 2013 World Series where he put the Boston Red Sox on his back and helped the franchise win their third World Series during his time with the organization.
Off the field, Ortiz has become a member of the community giving back to those in Boston as well as his home country. His words after the Boston Marathon Bombings helped give the city courage when they needed it the most.
When it is all said and done, Ortiz should find his way into Cooperstown.