The 5 greatest Boston Red Sox hitters in franchise history

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 23: Former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 23: Former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz /
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4. David Ortiz

I may be biased because of my age, but this list would be incomplete without Big Papi. It was between him and Carl Yastrzemski for the No.4 spot on this list, so I decided to throw a bone to the player who joined the Boston Red Sox when I was 6 years old.

Quite simply, David Ortiz is the greatest designated hitter in the history of baseball. If you want to argue that that title goes to Edgar Martinez, I can live with that. The fact of the matter is, there are only two legitimate nominees for that honor, and Ortiz is one of them.

Related Story: 5 things we love about David Ortiz

Ortiz is 17th all-time in home runs (541), and his career slugging percentage (.551) is good enough for 24th all-time. Name a statistic — Ortiz is probably near the top of the list.

But no discussion of David Ortiz will ever be complete without mentioning his late-game heroics. They say Ortiz is the man in whom the clutch-gene was first discovered. In his career, Big Papi recorded 23 walk-off hits, 13 of which were home runs. He ranks 3rd in regular season walk-off bombs and is the only player with 2 walk-off home runs in playoff games.

His clutchness was most apparent in the Red Sox’ famous 2004 World Series run. Papi was the man who kept the season alive so many times, and he ultimately helped Reverse the Curse.

But clutch-factor aside, the most impressive thing about Ortiz is his longevity. The man played until he was 40 years old, and his 40-year-old season was one of the best of his career. In 2016, Papi batted .315 with a .620 slugging, 38 home runs, 48 doubles, and 127 RBIs. Oh, and you can’t overlook his 2 stolen bases. Speed demon.

With the game on the line, there’s no one I’d rather have up than David Ortiz. He is, in my opinion, the greatest designated hitter of all time, and the 4th greatest hitter in Boston Red Sox history. 34 will mean “Ortiz” in Boston from now until eternity.