Before David Ortiz donned a Red Sox uniform, the franchise owned the most infamous championship drought in all of North American pro sports. Today, the Sox can be called the most successful MLB team of this century – having won three World Series titles with “Big Papi” leading the way.
Today, Ortiz turns 40-years-old. On his 41st birthday, he will be retired – as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday that the 2016 season will be his final year in a Sox uniform.
“I’m still having fun, and that’s the most important thing,” Ortiz told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford in September. “But we’ll see, man. Life goes on. This isn’t everything. This is just one chapter of my life. It takes a lot from me.”
Unless there is a dramatic drop-off in production, Ortiz will retire on top. He belted 37 home runs this past season, which was the most homers he hit in a season since 2005 (a career-high 54). He also drove in over 100 runs for the third straight season.
It is remarkable that Ortiz is putting up such great power numbers this late in his career. At the start of the 2009 season, there was real worry that a 34-year-old Ortiz was on the Back-9. He registered just one home run in the first two months of that season.
But it simply turned out that the first two months of that season was the worst slump of his career. He finished the year with a more-than-respectable 28 homers and 99 RBIs.
Ortiz had not weighed in on his pending retirement on Twitter as of Tuesday afternoon.