Before David Ortiz became known as “Big Papi” and became one of the best designated hitters of all time, he struggled to be an everyday player in Minnesota.
Yes, you heard that right, Ortiz was a Minnesota Twin before he became one of the most popular athletes in baseball. After being traded from the Seattle Mariners to Minnesota in 1992, Ortiz spent six seasons in a Twins uniform without having a permeant spot. Ortiz bounced from the Triple A affiliate to the bigs for a couple of years until Twins General Manager Terry Ryan made one of the dumbest decisions in baseball history. Ryan decided to release David Ortiz.
Well, people know the story from here. Ortiz was a fan favorite out in Boston and was one of the most clutch hitters the MLB has seen.
It wasn’t just Ortiz’s regular season that made him special, it was his ability to perform in the postseason that separated him from most power hitters. That’s what breaks the hearts of Twins fans.
Here are Ortiz’s top 3 best postseason moments:
Let’s start with his first postseason with the Red Sox in 2003 American League Divisional Series against the Oakland Athletics. With the Red Sox trailing the series 2-1 and in the game 4-3, Ortiz hit a three-run homerun in the bottom of the eighth which won the game for the Sox. It also helps the Sox beat the A’s in the series after falling to 2-0 in the best of five.
With so many clutch moments in Ortiz’s postseason collection, choosing three are extremely difficult. However, what Ortiz did in 2013 ALCS was special. Trailing the Detroit Tigers 1-0 in the series and 5-1 in the game, Ortiz stepped up to the plate with bases juiced and smacked a grand slam to tie the game up 5-5. It was the momentum shift the Red Sox needed and they didn’t look back. Boston ended up beating the Tigers and went on to win the World Series.
Ortiz’s most clutch postseason hit was the walk off home run sparking the greatest comeback in postseason history. After the New York Yankees took a 3-0 series lead in the 2004 ALCS, the Red Sox had no hope. In Game 4, Ortiz hit a walk-off home run 12th that gave the Red Sox life and hope. The rest is history, the Red Sox completed the comeback and beat the Yankees in 7 games. Ortiz and the Red Sox secured its first World Series title since 1918.
Keep in mind, though, the Twins weren’t bad. They made the playoffs, but never got to a World Series unlike Ortiz and the Red Sox. That’s what hurts the most about watching “Big Papi” have a Hall of Fame career like he did. It could’ve been in a Twins uniform but instead, Ortiz made Terry Ryan pay, and Twins fans. Thanks Terry.