In an interview with Tom Verducci for this week’s Sports Illustrated, in which Ortiz guest-edited the magazine, David Ortiz recalled his iconic walk-off, two-run homer off Yankees reliever Paul Quantrill in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS with great clarity.
Ortiz remembers the pitch he hit well, a “front-door sinker,” considering he was expecting it.
“He threw it to me all the time,” Ortiz said. “When you see him, ask him, What did you throw Papi back then to get him out? Front-door sinker. Because he’s got a good one. It starts at you, and then boom, comes back. But you know what, to be able to do that, you can’t just go out there with an empty mind. You need to have that hard drive all set. Same thing with [Joaquin] Benoit, when I hit that grand slam against him [in the 2013 ALCS]. He threw me that pitch to strike me out two months before that. So when I saw him coming out of the bullpen, here comes my split again. Same thing. It was the playoffs.
“That’s how I approach the game. You got to give something to get something.”
You can read Ortiz's full interview with Verducci here.
Ortiz, 40, is walking away from the game after 20 seasons. He will appear on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week, his fourth time on the cover.