by Robbie Congdon
David Ortiz is a designated hitter and part time first baseman for the Boston Red Sox. He was drafted to the Minnesota Twins in 1997 and joined the Red Sox in 2003. His nickname is “Big Papi,” and is well known for his power at the plate. He’s been a fan favorite his whole career and having turned 40 years old almost a year ago, everyone suspected he’d be on his way out soon. As a birthday present to himself, he announced last November that he’ll be retiring after the 2016 season.
Ortiz continued to put up good numbers at the plate well into his 30s. In 2015, he hit 37 home runs and had 108 RBI’s, showing that his age has not caught up to him yet. It would be reasonable to think that he would slow down in 2016, seeing as it’s his final year and he hit the 40 years old mark.
So far, he has proven that theory wrong. With about three weeks left in the season, he has a .317 batting average with 35 home runs and 118 RBI’s. In the American League, he ranks 4th in average, 1st in slugging percentage, 9th in home runs, 2nd in RBI’s, and 1st in doubles.
With these stats, many are questioning how he still feels like he should retire after the season. His argument to that was that he’s been in the league for 19 years and that there comes a time when his body can’t do it anymore. Mentally and emotionally, he’s ready to move on.
Ortiz has three weeks left of regular season baseball and the Red Sox are favored to make a playoff appearance, where Ortiz typically plays his best. If the Red Sox stay hot and make a World Series run, there will definitely be questions around Ortiz’s retirement.
Diehard Sox fan Andrew Blanchette said, “It’s sad to see such a good player go, especially since I’ve been watching him my whole life.”
It will certainly be an adjustment to see the Sox without number 34 in the lineup every day.