David Ortiz

David Ortiz: 'They call me Super Papi'

September 19, 2014 - 7:54 pm
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BALTIMORE -- Decades from now, assuming that baseball does not hurtle towards a clockless extinction, David Ortiz will remain a reference point in Red Sox history, a necessary landmark and point of comparison for any slugger in the team's uniform. Ortiz slammed a pair of homers -- the 33rd and 34th of his season -- while driving in three runs, not only propelling his team to a 5-3 victory over the Orioles in 10 innings but also eclipsing 100 RBIs, in the process, crossing the 30-100 threshold for the eighth time in his Red Sox career. He now stands alone in team history for the most such seasons in Sox history, leaving behind Ted Williams, who had seven in his illustrious career. The volume of seasons Ortiz has produced while reaching recognizable slugging plateaus is impressive enough in its own right. The fact that he is still producing at this level as a 38-year-old qualifies as astonishing and historic. Ortiz became the sixth player in big league history at the age of 38 (or older) to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs, joining Babe Ruth, Fred McGriff, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Frank Thomas. How? "They call me Super Papi," Ortiz grinned. "That'€™s right. Put it down like that." Manager John Farrell, however, suggested that there was a bit more to it than that. "The one thing we'€™re fortunate to see is the way the guy keeps himself in great shape: The way he works out, the way he prepares, in addition to [being] talented and one hell of a hitter," said Farrell. "I don'€™t know if you can say enough positives and accolades for what David Ortiz not only did tonight but what he'€™s done over an incredible career. He comes up big twice again for us tonight, no bigger than in that 10th inning and considering how many RBIs, how many home runs he contributed this year, I'€™d hate to think where we'€™d be without him."

While the Sox' 67-87 record and last-place standing somewhat mitigate the sense of accomplishment, Ortiz nonetheless recognized the significance of surpassing Williams.

"Too bad we are in the situation we are in but just like I always say, just a compliment when your name is attached to a legend like Mr. Williams," said Ortiz. "[It's] something that is based on a lot of consistency and work."