Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is piling up the milestones and moving up the all-time ranks at a pretty good clip this season. With a huge offensive performance in Saturday's 10-7 win over the Houston Astros, that surge continued.
Ortiz's first big hit came in the third inning when he launched a two-run home run into the center-field seats at Fenway Park, giving him 400 during his 12-year career in a Red Sox uniform. In doing so, Ortiz became just the 25th player in major league history to hit 400 home runs with one team, and only the third Red Sox player to do it, joining Hall of Famers Ted Williams (521) and Carl Yastrzemski (452).
When you're talking about Boston Sports and specifically the Red Sox, the company doesn't get any better than those two names.
''It's an honor to be mentioned with those legends that were with the Red Sox,'' Ortiz said. ''When you come to this organization to play, you're not expecting to be mentioned with those guys.''
Both Williams and Yastrzemski spent their entire careers with Boston. It's easy to forget sometimes that Ortiz actually started his career with the Minnesota Twins, debuting at 21 years old 1997. Over his six seasons playing regularly in the Metrodome, Ortiz hit 58 home runs, which gives him 458 for his career.
Or we should say gave. In his next at-bat on Saturday night, Ortiz hit another two-run homer just inside the Pesky Pole in right field, giving him 459 for his career. That ties him for 35th on the all-time home run list with Adam Dunn. Seeing as both men are active, that could actually change a few times in the coming weeks, but Ortiz seems like a safe bet to pull ahead sooner than later.
Ortiz would actually get two more chances to hit his third home run of the game. In the sixth, he grounded out. In the eighth, he knocked in two more runs with a double to left-center, giving him six RBIs for the night. At that point, John Farrell pulled him for a pinch-runner, which allowed the Boston faithful to shower him with a huge ovation.
It was a nice way to wrap up a meaningful night in Ortiz's career. Ultimately, though, Big Papi gets the final word, and this is how he summed up his journey to this point.
"No idea, to be honest with you," he said. "You play the game, you go through the flow, and you don't know how long you're going to play. What your career is going to be like. The one thing that you can control is come in, play hard, play the game, and let God take care of the rest of it.
"You don't play the game just to think about personal numbers. You play the game to do it right. Whatever you accomplish, it's a plus."
At this point, the pluses are adding up faster than we can count.
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