David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox has just hit the monstrous milestone of 500 career home runs. There are a few milestone numbers that can make a player an obvious vote to get inducted at Cooperstown, and 500 homers is one of those. Big Papi began his long career in Minnesota as a Twin, and struggled early on, until he was given a second chance. The Red Sox picked up Ortiz before the 2002 season, and the rest is history. For his first year as “Big Papi” in Boston, he finished 5th in the MVP voting with 31 homers and 101 RBI’s. After that great campaign, Ortiz became one of the most dangerous sluggers of his time.
9 of his 13 seasons as a Red Sock, Big Papi hit 30+ homers in each season, and hasn’t yet slugged below .500 as a member of the Boston club. David Ortiz has revolutionized the DH role in the American League over the past decade. The designated hitter is designed to be a tremendous power hitter that drives in runs in the middle of the lineup. Also, in past years there have been several DH’s who hit well under pressure too. Big Papi has been both and beyond, not only driving in over 1300 runs during his 13 years in Boston, but being a playoff hero leading the Sox to 3 world championships since 2003 as well.
Not only does Ortiz have an ALCS and WS MVP, while hitting 17 homers in 82 postseason games, but has a slugging percentage of .554 for his career in Boston. Talk about dominance and a franchise changer, Big Papi has been in the driver’s seat of one of the oldest baseball franchises since he arrived in 2003. There is no doubt that the numbers are there (500 home runs, 1600+ RBI’s, 4300+ total runs, 500+ doubles) for the Hall, but considering that the committee has been hesitant on letting in full-time DH’s, Ortiz may not be as easy as a slam dunk for induction as one may think. However, 500 home runs, puts a smile on the committee’s face, and the Sox leader is the first ever full-time DH to reach the milestone.