MIKE LUPICA / MLB. COM
This month marks 17 years since the time David Ortiz’s career began to take a turn with the Red Sox.
In early May 2003, the Dominican was hitting just .200. A few weeks later, his average had improved to .247. And when May ended, he was hitting .272. Ortiz had entered the batting rhythm and would not stop until his retirement as a player after the 2016 season. And he was about to change the course of baseball history as a certain Babe Ruth did after leaving Boston and integrating to the Yankees.
Ortiz is not the best hitter the Red Sox have ever had. That distinction will always belong to Ted Williams, the last player to hit .400.
But no hitter and no player has been more important to the Red Sox than David Ortiz. Before the Quisqueyan arrived, Boston had not won a title since 1918. We already know what they have accomplished since then. Although Ortiz is not the best hitter in Boston history and served almost exclusively as a BD, Ortiz is simply the most important player in franchise history, for what he did individually and for what the Red Sox have done. made in the 21st century.
It is worth remembering the career of Papi, who was the one who did the most to end the Bambino Curse and incidentally became the “Lord October” of Boston. And it really all started in late May 2003. Ortiz’s career is packed with fascinating data, starting with this: David didn’t become a starter in Boston in 2003 until May 29.
How he made Boston open eyes
In the last three months of the 2003 campaign, the Santo Domingo native spliced 27 home runs and produced 101 runs to finish fifth in the AL MVP vote.