In my fifteen years as a full season ticket holder the question I am most asked is “what is the best game you’ve ever seen?” For me the answer has always been the game that took 27 hours to play 26 innings on October 17&18, 2004.
Yup, I punt. That answer of course refers to games four and five of the 2004 ALCS. Both games had something in common…David Ortiz walked the sox off.
By now you have heard the Ken Rosenthal report that Big Papi will hang ’em up after the 2016 season. It will be a strange experience to see a Red Sox team without David Ortiz on it. He has been the constant in this incredible era of success we have enjoyed.
Better still has been the joy of watching him embrace the city and the region and having us reciprocated. Of course no moment better epitomizes that than a sunny April Saturday afternoon in 2013 when he spoke for all of us defiantly raising his left fist and proclaiming “this is our fucking city!”
Damned right it is David.
What I think I will remember about David is not the accomplishments but the emotion that came with it. I remember seeing him waving his arms at send base after he put the Sox up in game four of the 2003 ALDS on his first hit of the series. The joy as he raised his arm around first base after his homer in game four and his dugout speech in St. Louis in 2013. Even when he was not reacting the rest of us did. He was so casual rounding the bases after his memorable grand slam in 2013 but the reaction in the park was spastic. Mordecai Brown could count on one hand the number of times I have experienced something like that.
I suspect we will know be forced to hear lengthy discussions about his worthiness for the Hall of Fame. I personally could not care less. I would le it if he went in but whether the BBWAA honors him or not he will be part of my peeps all history of fandom.
The guy who sits next to me at Fenway grew up watching Carl Yastrzemski. He told me in 2004 that Ortiz that year was the first player he thought could compete with Captain Carl’s final week of 1967. That is high praise indeed.
Thanks for the memories Big Papi.