For the past few years as David Ortiz’s career has been coming to a close, him being worthy of a spot in the Hall has had a lot of controversial, but what he is doing in 2016 thus far, at the age of 40, is behind remarkable. Yes, the biggest point brought to indicate him not being Hall of Fame worthy is the fact that David has been a DH almost his entire career, but is that to say he can’t get into the Hall, while a guy like Frank Thomas got inducted on the first ballot? On the other side of the argument, the contributions he has made to Boston with the offensive numbers he has put up, as well as his presence in the locker room, clearly makes him a future Hall of Famer. However, if the 3-time WS champ can continue to stay hot in 2016, then it may not just make his case for Cooperstown more legitimate, but as well his case for being inducted on the first ballot.
So what if David only hits and not fields,that still doesn’t mean there should be an asterisk next to his 2016 campaign stats, or any of his highlight seasons for that matter. Years after years of 162 pressure packed games in 6 months traveling around the country puts a hard strain on the body, and yet in his 20th season, and at 40-years-old, the man Boston calls Big Papi, is having an MVP caliber year. At the resolution of this season, Big Papi could easily be at or near 2500 career hits, 550 HR’s, 1750 RBI’s, 640 doubles and a SLG% of .550. He is top 20 in all-time home runs, very likely going to pass Hank Aaron this year for 10th place on doubles list, and top 25 in RBI’s. In response to those general numbers being recorded by Big Papi alone without much time in the field with the glove to show for, some believe he is not a Hall of Famer.
If Big Papi were to put up these numbers during his career with hardely ever reaching the playoffs (or playing awful in the postseason) and not having a overwhelming positive presence in the locker room and to the game, then no, maybe he is not a Hall of Famer. But, that’s not the case, as Ortiz has a .962 OPS in 82 playoff games hitting 17 home runs, all while having an ALCS and WS MVP to show for it. Secondly, the sabermetrics show that Ortiz is valuable as well as the regular stats, as his career SecA (secondary average is batting average, but takes what kind of hits they are into factor thus being a better indicator of what the player’s true BA is) is .420 and his career OWn% (offensive winning percentage is the percentage of how many games a lineup of 9 of that player would produce) is .688. Finally, there have been many impactful, inspirational players who were great faces in the game’s history, but only a few who had enough charisma to steal the hearts of all baseball fans, like Babe Ruth or Willie Mays, and David Ortiz is one of those few.
After historical events like pulling Boston out of the curse of the Bambino into the promise land, and standing strong with Boston through the horrors of the Boston Bombing, the fans were just hoping for a memorable last season with Ortiz at DH, but who imagined he could actually win the MVP at the age of 40. Under the emotional tow and pressure on the Sox to win the division after a great offseason, the season David is putting together thus far could distinguish him as one of the greatest leaders in the history of America’s game. It may be a little early, but if Boston can continue playing well and get into the playoffs under an MVP like season from David, it will just confirm that Big Papi is the definition of a first ballot Hall of Famer.