It’s the end of an era for the Boston Red Sox, as the team and their fans bid farewell to one of its most beloved members of all time, David Ortiz, after his final game on Oct. 10. Not familiar with the baseball legend? Find out more about David right here!
1. You may know him by his famous nickname.
David, 40, is known as “Big Papi” in Boston and the baseball world, which isn’t just a reference to his beastly playing abilities. The Dominican Republic native earned himself that nickname while playing for the Red Sox because he’d often call people “papi” or “mami” when he couldn’t remember their names.
2. He didn’t spend his entire baseball career with the Red Sox.
Although David spent 13 seasons with the Red Sox, he actually started out his career with the Minnesota Twins. The team decided to release David in 2002 after he had been plagued by injuries, and they actually struggled to find a team that wanted him until the Sox signed him as a free agent in 2003. We’d say things worked out for him after that!
3. He ended his career with more than 500 home runs.
David is known for being one of baseball’s best sluggers, and he certainly proved that over his nearly 20-year career. The first baseman-turned-designated hitter hit a total of 541 home runs since his debut in 1997, landing him at No. 17 of the all-time leaders. After setting all sorts of home run records with the Red Sox, David even finished his impressive career with a 38-HR season. Not a bad way to go out!
4. He has an impressive baseball resume.
Other than his 541 home runs, David’s powerful performance as a player earned him a spot on the MLB All-Star Game roster 10 times, earning 6 Silver Slugger Awards, and the American League Hank Aaron Award in 2005. He also helped lead the Red Sox to three World Series titles, even being voted the MVP of the World Series when they won in 2013!
5. He’ll be honored forever in Fenway Park.
The Red Sox honored David with a special ceremony after his final regular season game with the team on Oct. 2, which included the announcement that they’d be retiring his number, 34, at the start of the 2017 season. They’re also naming a bridge and a road near Fenway Park after him! Clearly David is loved in Boston and in the MLB, and he’ll be missed now that he’s retired — but definitely not forgotten!
HollywoodLifers, are you sad that David is done playing baseball? Share your favorite Big Papi moment in the comments below!