Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has accomplished some amazing feats in his 16-year career. To add to it, the 37-year-old did something Friday night that put him with elite company. However, even without the incredible accomplishment, is Ortiz worthy of the Baseball Hall of Fame once his career comes to an end?
Ortiz has been fantastic for the Red Sox this season. In fact, one can make the case that Boston would not be one win away from clinching homefield advantage in the American League without his stellar performance at the plate. That is why the organization and fans were thrilled to see him hit a home run on Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles that gave him his seventh 30-100 season of his career. Consider Ted Williams is the only other player in franchise history to do the same means that much more.
“It’s a huge honor for myself to be mentioned with one of the greatest that ever played the game in this organization,” Ortiz said, according to RedSox.com. “Got to keep the line moving and try to keep on producing for this ballpark.”
In my opinion, Ortiz is a Hall of Fame hitter. The man has crushed 431 home runs, 1,429 RBI, 520 doubles and has posted a .287 batting average 7,052 career at-bats.
Some say Ortiz would need to clear 500 home runs to even be mentioned in the talk for Hall of Fame candidacy. However, I disagree, although I do believe he could reach 500 before he calls it quits. The fact of the matter is Ortiz does not appear to age. The man always struggles at some point during a season but manages to push through and end the year with respectable numbers. For that reason, I could see him still suiting up for a few more seasons.
“You know what? I tell people a couple more years just to make them feel good and they don’t think you plan on playing this game until you’re on crutches,” Ortiz said back in 2012, according to weei.com. “But as long as I feel good and I can swing the bat well I want to keep on playing. What better life is there?”
With two World Series rings, an ALCS MVP and numerous MLB records, Ortiz has solidified himself as one of the greatest sluggers of the past decade. He helped bring multiple championships to a baseball city that was deprived of a winner and has a good chance to add one more in 2013. At this point, carrying the offensive load for a legitimate World Series contender at his age has to stand for something.