-By, Sam Goldenson
Despite getting eliminated from the playoffs, the Red Sox have had an incredibly successful 2016 season. Their longtime driving force? 40-year-old David Ortiz. Ortiz, affectionately nicknamed “Big Papi”, announced in November of 2015 that he would be retiring after the 2016 season, saying that “every single one of us, athletes-wise, we run out of time at some point.” After playing with the Minnesota Twins for 5 seasons and remaining relatively unused, Ortiz signed a $1.25 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2003 thanks to a recommendation from fellow Dominican, Pedro Martinez. No one could have predicted the impact he would have on the team. In 2004, the left-handed designated hitter and first baseman had an important role in obtaining Boston’s first World Series championship title since 1918. The Red Sox, again led by Big Papi, later went on to win two more championship titles in 2007 and 2013.
When asked about his retirement, Ortiz said he has “thought a lot about it.” The impact that the 10-time All Star has had on the MLB has been evident throughout his Farewell Tour. Mike Trout, who is a Los Angeles Angel and friend of Ortiz, commented, “I don’t think Big Papi is going to retire. I keep telling him that. With those numbers, I wouldn’t.” In regards to Ortiz’s retirement, former Red Sox player Jon Lester claimed that he did not “100 percent believe that this is it for him.” In Detroit, Tigers player Miguel Cabrera begged Ortiz to play another season. Even New England Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady said through a Facebook post “It’s not too late to change your mind, Papi!”
Ortiz claims he has plenty of plans for his retirement, including being with his wife and children and taking a long vacation. Although fans are happy for him, they will still miss him dearly. Christina B. ’17 claimed that she will “miss his clutch hitting and the spirit he brought to not only the team but also the city.” Ortiz on the other hand? He is anticipating missing his teammates as well as the highly competitive aspect of the MLB. But most of all, Ortiz says he will miss Boston fans because he believes he plays “for the best fans in baseball.”