the columnist who has publically feuded with Ortiz says, though, the argument is
worth having because Big Papi just might be the greatest Red Sox player in the
lifetime of any person born after 1960.
was 7 when Williams hit a home run on his last career at bat on Sept. 28, 1960,
so he probably at least remembers the days of the Splendid Splinter. Most of us
can only read about Williams’ greatness.
columnist certainly isn’t alone in his view that Williams is the greatest Red
Sox player ever. Until Big Papi flies a combat plane in Syria, I think I’m
going to lean toward The Kid in this argument as well.
Williams, after all, was a true American hero and, of course, the greatest hitter who ever lived.
Perhaps the best
baseball moment of my life was when the All-Stars mobbed Williams and his golf
cart like they were little kids before The Kid threw out the first pitch at the
1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park.
To see Tony
Gwynn so star struck is all you needed to know about the legend that is Ted Williams.
been pretty special, too. He is, at very least, the greatest postseason player
in Red Sox history.
remember, has three World Series rings — four if you count his 2013 MVP ring —
that Williams didn’t. None of those titles, especially 2013 when Ortiz was out
of this world, would have been possible without Big Papi.
as Ortiz has been since joining the Red Sox in 2003, it is his play in 2016,
when he is 40, that has led to this debate about the greatest Red Sox player
this debate hasn’t been pretty, especially when you factor in some Yankees fans
who, understandably, don’t like Ortiz.
The one sad
thing that I have run into while celebrating the greatness of the blistering
start by Ortiz in his final season was the number of fans who have criticized
the legendary slugger for merely being a designated hitter.
He isn’t a
legend or a Hall of Famer, they say, because he doesn’t play a position in the
Shaughnessy, is what you call silly argument.
designated hitter can’t be a legend or Hall of Famer, then neither can a
pitcher in the American League.
Ryan’s years he pitched in the American League not count because he didn’t bat
in those years?
they should count. Making such an argument should get you banned for life from
argument is almost identically as silly as claiming that the greatness of Ortiz
could somehow be diminished because he stays in the dugout while his teammates
take the field.
Mariano Rivera? Is he not a legend because he sat around and did nothing for
the first eight innings of a game?
Nolan Ryan and
Mariano Rivera are no-doubt Hall of Famers and a true legend of the game. So is
Big Papi. At least he should be.
There is no
need to recite Ortiz’s stats or rehash his great moments, which just keep
coming. We all know them. You don’t have to be Harold Reynolds recognize
greatness when you see it.
might not be greater than or equal to Williams. But he is at least entered into
the conversation with his legendary career. To say Ortiz is the best certainly
is not a silly statement.
When and if
Big Papi rolls out in a golf cart to throw out the first pitch before the 2055
All-Star Game, you better believe the stars will be star struck at the sight of
a true baseball legend.