It’s becoming harder and harder to dispute that David Ortiz is worthy of a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame as the ridiculous numbers he put up this season have boosted some already impressive numbers.
He has been in baseball for 20 years now, and has clocked 540 home runs (good for an average of 36 homers per season) and has driving in 1,765 runs (good for an average of 119 RBIs per season). He has 2,469 hits, and he’s walked 1,317 times. He has a career .286 batting average, a .380 on-base percentage and a .552 slugging percentage.
Big Papi now ranks 17th on the all-time home run list, ahead of guys like Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Frank Thomas, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig. He ranks 22nd on Major League Baseball’s all-time RBI list, ahead of guys like Honus Wagner, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr., George Brett and Chipper Jones.
Where Ortiz truly separates himself from the pack though is when we dive into his postseason numbers. He has 87 hits in 357 plate appearances in the MLB playoffs, good for 10th all-time. He will no doubt add to that total in the coming weeks, and with just 10 hits he could climb all the way to fifth all-time. He is already fourth all-time in postseason doubles with 21, is seventh all-time in postseason home runs with 17, and is fifth all-time in postseason RBIs with 60.
Ortiz ranks among the top players in Red Sox players in dozens of offensive categories. The issue is that he spent the early portion of his career in Minnesota – which is holding him back from being the Sox’ leader in most offensive categories. It makes you wonder what would have happened if Ortiz was here from Day 1.
“He went there [to Boston] and, some guys kind of shrink in that atmosphere, and he just blossomed,” former Red Sox manager Terry Francona told ESPN of Ortiz. “It brought out his true personality and he embraced it. He’s been through a lot there. He’s certainly the face of the Red Sox, or one of them, and probably the same goes for the face of baseball. He’s got that big smile that when you walk in the room, or when somebody walks in the room, he can disarm you just like that. I don’t care who you are. He’s a big teddy bear.”