Associated Press: Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz acknowledges cheers from fans after being introduced during a ceremony honoring him before a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Monday, March 28, 2016, in Fort Myers, Fla. Ortiz played his last spring training home game at jetBlue Park Monday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
The final chapter of David Ortiz is set to begin on Monday as he begins his 20th season in Major League Baseball. Ortiz who broke on as a 21 year old first baseman back in 1997 with the Minnesota Twins has had a pretty remarkable career.
That career started with a very brief stint in the Majors during that 1997 season, Ortiz appeared in 15 games while picking up 16 hits with three doubles, one home run and six runs batted in. Ortiz built on the small sample size picking up 326 at bats in 1998 while adding 20 doubles, nine home runs and 46 runs batted in. Despite the success though Ortiz battled injuries and couldn’t build on it only appearing in 10 games during the 1999 season.
Over the next three seasons, Ortiz racked up 1,291 at bats with 85 doubles, 48 home runs and 186 runs batted in. That success wasn’t enough for the Twins to keep Ortiz as they elected to release him after the 2002 MLB season. The Boston Red Sox wouldn’t sit long as they elected to sign Ortiz on January 22nd, 2003.
That little motivation turned Ortiz in one of the best power hitters in the American League while powering his way to 503 career home runs. For the Twins it might be one of the most disappointing moves the team ever committed and one that could have played a complete role in the teams struggles over the years.
In his first season with the Red Sox in 2003, Ortiz rewarded the club with 39 doubles, 31 home runs and 101 runs batted in. That stretch led to Ortiz hitting at least 30 home runs in nine of his next 13 seasons while posting at least 23 home runs in the next four seasons. Ortiz has also posted at least 100 runs batted in during those nine seasons as well as well as leading the league once in home runs and twice in runs batted in.
All of that journey will come to an end on October 2nd as the Red Sox will wrap up the regular season. The one big question left to be answered is whether or not Ortiz will find a way to earn a spot in the MLB Hall Of Fame?