Monday, September 14, 2015

Sometimes the good guys win

David Ortiz was a huge part of the revitalization of the Boston Red Sox in the aughties, when they finally emerged from the New York Yankee's shadow to win three World Series championships in a decade.  One of the few things I look back on with fondness from my days in Massachusetts was their 2004 series win.  New England went nuts - people would go to the cemeteries to leave "Boston Red Sox World Champion" hats on the tombstones.  Tough Irish cops in Boston were unashamed to have tears running down their faces.

I even did my own part, one Halloween:

Box score of the final series game, by yours truly.  The neighborhood moms were (mostly) a little mystified, but the neighborhood dads thought that it was the cat's meow.

But back to David Ortiz, who is playing out what is likely his final season.  Ortiz has always been a ray of sunshine in the Red Sox clubhouse, with a perpetually upbeat attitude that was mostly missing from the Sox in the '80s and '90s.

Well, the good guys win sometimes.  Ortiz has achieved the following milestones: over 500 home runs, 3 world series rings, and if he hits another 22 doubles he will have 600 doubles.

To put that in perspective, only three other players have had 500+ home runs and 3 world series rings:
  • Babe Ruth
  • Mickey Mantle
  • Reggie Jackson
That's some company, right there.  and there are only two other players who had 500 homers and 600 doubles:
  • Hank Aaron
  • Barry Bonds
Bonds was a cheater, but Big Pappy's numbers kept coming after the league cracked down on performance enhancing substances.  It's not often we get to watch the closing of a career when we know for an absolute fact that this is a hall of fame player.

Hat tip: Chris Lynch, who gave the stats that led me down this memory lane.

UPDATE 14 September 2015 16:22: Here's an example of the feeling in New England in 2004.  While this is a parody, it really isn't.  I was there.


Unknown said...

While I can't say I've always been thrilled with Ortiz' performance, particularly when playing against the Cards, he has always been a class act, and he should be in the Hall.


2cents said...

Sox already picked up his option for next year. He's back for at least one more. My guess is two.

Old NFO said...

Now that commercial is funny! :-)

Ken said...

That was a great postseason. I enjoyed (ex-Dodger, ex-Indian) Dave Roberts' pinch steal, and Billy Mueller (one of my favorite players going back to his Giants days) driving him in to tie the game.

More recently, thinking Indians' fans the world over offer the Sawx heartfelt thanks for Tito Francona, the best manager in the AL. If he's not running this team, they're the Phillies, instead of sneaking back into the wild card race. He cannot be blamed for the failures of Bourn, Swisher, and Santana, nor the injury to Yan Gomes.