In this edition of #PapiMoment, a few writers from the RedSoxLife staff shared their own personal favorite David Ortiz moment during his time in Boston.
Brian Hines My favorite #PapiMoment is arguably David Ortiz's most clutch moment with the Boston Red Sox. Its also the one I remember the best.
I was sitting down with my dad to watch Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS. The Red Sox dropped Game 1 to the Detroit Tigers and looked to avoid falling back 2-0 with three games in Detroit on the radar. The game did not start in the Red Sox favor as Max Scherzer was pitching lights out. The Tigers struck first scoring on an Alex Avila single to center field in the second. But they piled on four more runs in the top of the sixth making it a 5-0 game. As for the Red Sox, Scherzer silenced the Sox bats and they didn't record their first hit until the bottom of the sixth. As Victorino single to left field, Pedroia knocked him a batter later with a double to center. The lead was cut to 5-1 but still the Red Sox had work to do. In the bottom of the eighth the game remained 5-1 Tigers. Jose Veras replaced Max Scherzer but was pulled after two batters for Drew Smyly after giving up a double to Will Middlebrooks. Smyly lasted just one batter, a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury. As Al Alburquerque came into pitch, he struck out Shane Victorino but surrendered a single to Dustin Pedroia. And just like that, the bases were loaded with two outs for.... David Ortiz. The Tigers made yet another pitching change and brought in Joaquin Benoit, as Joe Buck pointed out Ortiz never had homered against Benoit. I remember looking at my dad and saying what every Red Sox fan was thinking, "Papi is going to hit a grand slam and the Red Sox will win this game." Sure enough David Ortiz took the first pitch he saw and put it into the Red Sox bullpen in right field. That tied the game at five and the Red Sox went on to win the game in the bottom of the ninth by a Jarrod Saltalamacchia RBI single.
Without the grand slam, the Red Sox might have not won the series but the 2013 World Series. Going down 2-0 to Detroit with three straight games there might have not ended well. But Big Papi did what he's done so well since he's gotten here and came through in the clutch. It won't be the same next year without you David but thank you for all you've done. Jim Monaghan
Watching as the final few weeks of David Ortiz's career unfolded, I was reminded of moments that have stood out for me over the years. Being in the NY/NJ area and surrounded by Yankees fans, his performance in the 2004 ALCS would of course be top-of-mind for me.
Other potential candidates would include the post-season grand slam in 2013 against the Tigers ("David Ortiz! David Ortiz!! David Ortiz!!!") and the dugout speech during the World Series that same year.
But my favorite #PapiMoment is actually more personal than that.
August 10, 2006...Fenway Park...against the Baltimore Orioles.
The second-place Red Sox were chasing the Yankees and entered the game that night three games out in the AL East. David Wells was starting for Boston that night and he would end up pitching a gem in a 9-2 Boston victory.
I remember the date because it was my son's first-ever game at Fenway Park. He was going to see David Ortiz play in person! And it was all he talked about for weeks. Being only five, he stood on his seat when Ortiz came to the plate and threw his arms into the air as Big Papi slammed a double into the right field corner early in the game. He told me afterwards that it was as if Ortiz had known he was there.
Fast forward to Monday night's Game 3 of the 2016 ALDS. That 5-year old boy - now 15 - was watching his first true sports hero retire.
I awoke early Tuesday morning to find that he had texted me at 1:30 AM. "Lying here looking up at the ceiling and I think to myself, 'Wait a minute...he's gone. He's actually gone. There isn't another 162 games for him. It's just over. My childhood is officially over.' Then I started to tear up a bit."
And so did I.
When a Legend retires someone from all fan bases, always has something nice to say.I don’t think any of those fans or writers could do justice to just how amazing your career was.Now, I could sit and breakdown everything you have done, but my memories are so much more, these memories used to make me giddy with excitement, and will for many more years to come.
You were in fact the greatest clutch hitter of all time, and that is how I will always remember you.I first remember the greatest moment of your career in the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees in the “Comeback” series. This moment, not to be outdone by the series changing grand slam in 2013 ALCS, is my favorite moment of your career.Growing up a Red Sox fan we are taught to hate the Yankees, and living in the Midwest nowhere near Fenway Park or Boston, I mingled with and still know many Diehard Yankee fans.That home run you hit in extra innings to keep all hope alive, with what would eventually be the first World Series title you would help bring to Boston, made me run circles around my living room hooting and hollering.I have still continued to become overcome with joy and still have been known to be that giddy anytime you come up with a clutch homer.You will be greatly missed.
Ortiz celebrates his 2004 ALCS walk-off home run in Game 5. Photo Courtesy of http://imgarcade.com/
So from the bottom of my heart Thank-You for all you did for my favorite baseball team.The World Series rings were great, the clutch homers were a thing of beauty, but most importantly, you were a role model for so many.You epitomized what it meant to be a professional ball player and you played the game the right way.The Nation Thanks You, The Nation needed you, The Nation will Never forget you.
Thanks Papi! Ryan MacLeod
You have been the root of a lot of happy moments in my life, many of them are of you on the baseball field. But there is one memory that I will forever have of you that will stand out above all else and that came off of the field. On the morning of the 2013 World Series Championship Parade I woke up at 3:30am, took the very first train into the city and got off at Copley Station. I knew that there would be something that occurred at the Boston Marathon Finish Line, so that is where I set up shop and waited for the next 7 hours, but I never expected to see what I saw. As your duck boat reached the top of the hill on Hereford Street, you got off the duck boat and started to run. You ran down towards the finish line, and you took the spirit of every Boston Marathon runner ever. I had thought of you as a Bostonian before, I mean with the speech you gave that first game back at Fenway after the bombing nobody could question your love for the city. But when you ran towards the finish line and right past me I was overcome with emotions. You embodied the slogan of "We will run."
Ortiz ditched his duck boat during the 2013 World Series Parade and walked
down Boylston Street near the Boston Marathon finish line.
Photo Courtesy of Charles Krupa/AP Photo
There will always be the stories that everyone has of watching you hit home runs in the playoffs, or setting milestones, but I feel like there will always be that memory of you running down Boylston Street with a grin on your face and the screams of the crowd. Thank you Big Papi, you have done more for this city than any other athlete in it's history and I can't wait to someday tell my children of the legacy that you have left.
Hands pound the chest, touch the lips and point to the sky. Papi Out.
If you need to recall some of Big Papi's individual moments, read a #PapiMoment here