Big Papi: Boston Red Sox legend no doubt a first-ballot Hall of Famer

Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /

Perhaps this Boston Red Sox fan is a bit biased, but David Ortiz, the man who captured Major League Baseball through the early part of the 2000s until he retired in 2016 is absolutely a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

So, as that man known as Big Papi apears on the ballot for the first time, it should be a no-brainer just becuause…

That big bat and smile that lit up Fenway Park throughout the years, that clutch hitter who teamed up with Manny Ramirez to form one of the most feared duos at the plate.  The bigger than the game sports figure who continues to represent Boston sports with pride and grace not only helped reverse the curse in 2004 but led the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2007 and 2013.

Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz was just special

Again, perhaps this Generation X-er is a bit bias and guided with emotion and nostalgia, but the numbers and postseason magic simply speak for itself.  When a panel of reporters were posed the question, across the board they said absolutely.  You know why?

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Because as baseball fans, you have to marvel at the big moments the man known has Big Papi captured throughout the 2000s and midway through the 2010s. executive reporter Mark Feinsand summed it up perfectly for this Boston Red Sox fan:

"“To me, he’s a no-brainer. When you think of the most feared hitters of the past 20 years, Ortiz ranks right up at or near the top of the list. The guy was a threat every time he stepped to the plate, and nobody thrived in the big moments like Big Papi did.”"

So, lets talk about those big moments.  Remember that Ortiz delivered the game winning hits in Game 4 and 5 of the American League Championship Series against those New York Yankees who held a 3-0 lead back in 2004?  Because of his clutch performance at the plate, the Boston Red Sox roared back and not only took the series but defeated the Curse of the Bambino, delivering the franchise their first championship since 1918.

Then, there was that time during the team’s 2013 World Series run when Big Papi delivered a clutch eighth-inning grand slam that tied the game against the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS.

Magic at the plate and inspiration off the plate, that is the baseball legend and figure Ortiz is, but like other legends of the game, there will be doubts that might keep him from being a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  There is some question as to whether Big Papi is a “steroid guy.”  A positive test in 2003 for an unknown substance will put enough doubt in some writer’s mind.

Also, the fact that he was mostly a DH during his big years in the MLB could cause some to pause.  With Hall of Famers like Edgar Martinez, Harold Baines and Frank Thomas eventually getting in, that silly reason to not give Big Papi a vote is asinine to say the least, given his shine in the spotlight as Boston Red Sox beat writer Ian Browne explained:

"“I think Ortiz was in the limelight so much more than Edgar, who was really only in the center of our minds in the 1995 playoffs. I think Papi is foremost on the minds of a lot of writers for what he did, especially in October. And though this shouldn’t influence voting, I don’t think it will hurt his cause that he was great to the media his entire career.”"

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Oh yes, that October magic that uplifted and warmed so many hearts throughout Red Sox Nation was a force that won’t fade for decades. There is just something about David Ortiz that sparks inspiration.  Not only was he an instant classic every time he stepped to the plate with a chance to win a game, but he was also that spark that fueled almost a century of disappointment into over a decade of victory.

David Ortiz aka Big Papi is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and no one is going to tell this fan otherwise.