'Big Papi' Ortiz had a career of big moments for Red Sox
From his back-to-back walk-offs in the 2004 playoffs to his .688 batting average in the 2013 World Series, David Ortiz seemed to perform best under pressure.
Here are some of his signature moments:
- His heroics in the 2004 playoffs began with a game-ending homer in the 10th inning to finish up the first-round sweep of the Anaheim Angels. In the AL Championship Series against the New York Yankees, Ortiz homered to win Game 4 in the 12th inning and then, less than 24 hours later, singled in the 14th to win Game 5.
Boston became the only major league team to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games.
- He hit 54 home runs in 2006, breaking Jimmie Foxx's franchise record on Sept. 21 with No. 51, off Johan Santana. Ortiz has hit 445 of his 503 homers in a Red Sox uniform, trailing only Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. He is 27th on baseball's career home run list.
- When the Red Sox returned home after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Ortiz agreed to say a few words to the crowd, which included the governor and top police officials. Expressing the defiance felt by many in the aftermath of the attacks, he said, ''This is our (expletive) city! Nobody's going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!''
The words became a rallying cry for the stricken city.
- After finishing last the previous year, the Red Sox made it back to the playoffs in 2013. They eliminated Tampa Bay in the first round but lost the ALCS opener to Detroit and trailed 5-1 in Game 2. Ortiz tied it with a grand slam that sent right fielder Torii Hunter over the bullpen wall, his legs splayed in the air even as a Boston police officer raised his arms in triumph. Boston went on to win in the bottom of the ninth.
- The Red Sox finished off the Tigers and reached the World Series for the third time since Ortiz joined the club in 2003. But they trailed St. Louis 2-1 in the Series when Ortiz gathered his teammates around him in the visitors' dugout at Busch Stadium for a pep talk.
''Any time this guy puts a uniform on, there's a presence,'' said outfielder Jonny Gomes, who homered in his next at-bat to give Boston a 4-2 win. ''It was like 24 kindergartners looking up at their teacher. He got everyone's attention and we looked him right in the eyes, and that message was pretty powerful.''
Ortiz hit .688 against the Cardinals and was named the World Series MVP.