Written By: Kevin Vickery
When David Ortiz announced that the 2016 season was going to be his last it was a crushing blow of reality to Red Sox fans that not even the best can outdue father time. Today Ortiz finished his last spring training game ever and was applauded while riding around the field on a golf cart. The baseball season is always a long one, but this year may feel a little shorter with every game being a farewell stop for one of the best Red Sox of all time.
The 2015 season was the red sox biggest rival Derek Jeter’s last season and just like the ESPN commercial showed, even Red Sox fans could not help but tip their caps and appreciate all of the great games between the sox and the evil empire better known as the Yankees. This year however will belong to Ortiz and nobody deserves a farewell tour more than Big Papi.
Ortiz is arguably the most important Red Sox player of all time. Before Ortiz arrived from the Minnesota Twins, the Red Sox had not won a world series since 1918 and seemed to be forever haunted by the curse of the Bambino. It was not until 2004 when Ortiz’s clutch home runs and RBI’s lifted the sox over the Yankees in the ALCS and the cardinals in the World Series. Ortiz was also a big of a part of the 2007 and 2013 teams that won the World Series.
Ortiz has been one of baseball’s most clutch playoff hitters that baseball has ever seen and it is important that us fans do not take a single at bat for granted. I think that young Red Sox fans can all agree, that growing up watching Ortiz has been a real privilege.
Ortiz’s career does however come with some controversy and that his because of his PED use. Ortiz has been involved with numerous other players being implicated in using PED use but it is almost impossible to find any of the great players from the steroid era who did not use or where not suspected of using PED’s. Unfortunately Ortiz will always be labeled as a steroid user but the reality is hitting can only be taught to a certain extent.
The perfect end scenario to Ortiz’s career would be a World Series championship but even without him it is impossible not to have him in the debate as one of the most important players of his generation. For die-hard sox fans this season will be a tough one but a happy one as we say goodbye to Big Papi.