Chad Clinger: Farewell ‘Big Papi’ and thank you!

The 2016 Major League Baseball regular season has come to an end. So many players that I have grown up watching are walking away from the game after this year. The one retirement that pulls at my heart strings the most though is David Ortiz.

The Boston Red Sox are the American League East Champions. That is something I, being a huge Red Sox fan, did not see coming. The Red Sox will meet up with Central Division champion Cleveland Indians. Who could’ve seen this coming? I may be an Ohioan, but my socks are red this October. What baseball fan, let alone Boston fan, wouldn’t want to see Big Papi’s career end like that of a storybook? After all, that’s how it has read up to this point.

For 2o years, Ortiz has been a big leauger. It all started Sept. 2, 1997 as a member of the Minnesota Twins. Big Papi was in Minnesota for the first six years of his career before joining the Red Sox in the 2003. Strangely enough, that is about the time that I became a fan of the boys from Beantown. Since Ortiz joined the Sox, the curse of the bambino has been broken and Boston has won three World Series Championships (2004, 2007, 2013). In 2013, David Ortiz provided one of the most memorable postseasons in MLB history that ended in him being crowned World Series Most Valuable Player. I can still remember how I felt shouting at the television, overcome with joy, while my wife at the time is asking me to please not wake our daughter.

In addition to the above mentioned successes, Ortiz has some other accomplishments that can’t be ignored. Ortiz is a 10-time American League All-Star, a six-time AL Silver Slugger award winner, the 2004 AL championship series MVP and he also won the 2010 Home Run Derby.

His final season was easily the greatest final year ever in baseball. Ortiz had 48 doubles this season and, even at 40 years old, somehow legged out a triple. Big Papi hit 38 home runs this season, which is the most ever for a man his age. Ortiz also drove in 127 runs. These numbers have made him a top candidate for AL MVP.

Throughout his career, David Ortiz has played in 2408 regular season games and has come to the plate 8640 times. He has hit 541 home runs. This figure puts him at 17th on the all-time home runs list. Papi has scored 1419 runs while driving in 1768, batted a career average of .286, recorded 2472 hits, 632 doubles and 19 triples.

There will never be another David Ortiz in my eyes. He is fantastic at the plate, giving off the field and his legacy will forever live on in Boston. I wish that you didn’t have to go David. Thank you for making me into the fan that I am today.

Will the Boston Red Sox and Ortiz be able to finish off this remarkable and memorable farewell season with the World Series title?

Only time will tell.

Chad Clinger

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