Celebrating 500: David Ortiz's most memorable home runs
David Ortiz became the 27th member of the 500-homer club when he sent a 2-2 Matt Moore pitch over the right-field wall to lead off the fifth inning at Tampa Bay on Sept. 12, 2015. He hit No. 499, also off Moore, in the first inning. Big Papi, a nine-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion (and the 2013 World Series MVP), is regarded as one of the most clutch hitters of his era and a possible future Hall of Famer. Although his 17 postseason homers don’t factor into the 500, he is perhaps best known for his October heroics. To celebrate No. 500, here are some of Big Papi’s most memorable blasts.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY SportsReinhold Matay
2004 ALDS, Game 3: Ortiz's walk-off sinks the Angels
The Red Sox won the first two games of a best-of-five AL Division Series in Anaheim by a combined score of 17-6 and led Game 3 at Fenway Park 6-1 before the Angels rallied for five runs in the seventh. With the score still tied in the 10th, Ortiz hit a walk-off shot over the Green Monster to send the Red Sox to an ALCS rematch against the rival Yankees.
Getty ImagesEzra Shaw
2004 ALCS, Game 4: Ortiz resuscitates the Red Sox
On the heels of a 19-8 loss in Game 3 of the ALCS and facing elimination, the Red Sox rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. In the 12th inning, Ortiz sent a Paul Quantrill pitch over the right-field wall and ignited what would become the greatest comeback in postseason history and the end of the Curse of the Bambino.
MLB Photos via Getty ImagesRich Pilling
2004 World Series, Game 1: Ortiz provides the lead
In a World Series in which they never trailed, the Red Sox jumped on the Cardinals early in Game 1. With two men aboard in the first inning, Ortiz took Woody Williams deep and put Boston on the board in what would be a four-run inning. The Red Sox won a wild Game 1 by the score of 11-9 and swept St. Louis to win their first World Series since 1918.
MLB Photos via Getty ImagesBrad Mangin
2013 ALCS, Game 2: Ortiz provides grand drama
Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning and in danger of falling behind 2-0 to the Tigers in the ALCS, Ortiz stepped to the plate with the bases loaded against Joaquin Bemoit — Detroit’s third pitcher of the inning after Max Scherzer was removed from the game after seven strong innings. Ortiz planted the first pitch he saw into the Red Sox bullpen, tying the game and making 'Bullpen Cop' a celebrity. Boston won the game in the ninth and the series in six.
Getty ImagesAl Bello
2013 World Series, Game 1: Ortiz strikes again vs. St. Louis
Ortiz put the exclamation point on the Red Sox’s 8-1 win, taking Cardinals lefty specialist Kevin Siegrist deep to increase Boston’s lead from 5-0 to 7-0 in the seventh inning. It was just the start of a special series for Ortiz, who hit .688/.760/1.188 with six RBI to win MVP honors. The Red Sox won their third World Series since 2004, a year after finishing last in the AL East.
Getty ImagesRob Carr
May 11, 2011: Ortiz joins Boston's exclusive 300 club
Ortiz smacked his 300th home run with the Red Sox, joining Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice and Dwight Evans in that exclusive club. The historic shot came off Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano in the bottom of the fourth inning with Kevin Youkilis on first base.
Sept. 21, 2006: Ortiz becomes Boston's single-season HR king
Ortiz became the Red Sox’s single-season home run leader, passing Hall of Famer and franchise icon Jimmie Foxx with his 51st long ball of the season. It was a solo shot against the Twins’ Johan Santana; Ortiz, who embraced Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky after hitting No. 51, would homer again later in the game and finish the season with 54 homers. Foxx’s record had stood since 1938.
Boston Globe via Getty ImagesBoston Globe
June 2, 2005: Ortiz commits lefty-on-lefty crime
Down to their last out and trailing 4-3 to the Orioles, the Red Sox’s final hope was Ortiz. On the mound was left-handed closer B.J. Ryan, whose seven-pitch battle with Ortiz was classic. The result: a three-run homer on a full-count pitch. It was one of only five blown saves that season for Ryan, who successfully converted 36 opportunities.
July 31, 2006: Ortiz crushes Cleveland's Carmona
The Red Sox trailed the Cleveland Indians 8-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth. With two on and one out, the Indians opted to have closer Fausto Carmona (now known as Roberto Hernandez) pitch to Ortiz. Ortiz crushed a 2-0 pitch over the wall to give AL East-leading Boston a 9-8 win. It was his second homer of the game and second walk-off hit in three days.
Boston Globe via Getty ImagesBoston Globe
Aug. 26, 2009: Ortiz makes walk-off history
Just another walk-off shot for Ortiz, whose solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning off the White Sox’s Tony Pena gave the Red Sox a 3-2 win. Boston blew a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning but prevailed 3-2 thanks — again — to Ortiz. He wrapped the ball around Pesky’s Pole for his ninth regular-season walk-off homer with Boston, setting a franchise record.