David Ortiz is a man of the people. That much we’ve always known. However, during Saturday’s game in Detroit, he took his ability to balance having fun with the fans to taking care of business to an entirely new level.
Prior to his at-bat in the top of the fifth inning, Ortiz paid a visit to some Red Sox fans seated near the first-base dugout. That part is not unusual. Nor is the fact that Ortiz didn’t come empty-handed, as he handed out some gum to the handful of kids who gathered around. Before turning his focus back to baseball, Ortiz even posed for a selfie with one of the young fans.
Typically, the selfie would be the coolest part of the story. After all, it’s David Ortiz, the same guy who posed for a selfie with President Obama at the White House.
Big Papi likes to do things bigger than that though. In the end, the selfie was just the prelude to a picturesque swing that made some history and helped lead Boston to a much-needed 3-2 win.
On that swing, Ortiz connected for his 29th home run of the season. That tied the MLB record for the most homers hit in a season by a player after turning 40, along with Ted Williams and Raul Ibanez.
On that swing, Ortiz also reached exactly 1,500 RBIs for his career in Boston. He joined Carl Yastrzemski (1,844) and Williams again (1,839) as the only players to reach that number in a Red Sox uniform. Then, when he touched home, it was 1,400th run scored of his 20-year career. Only 14 other players have reached that plateau.
That’s a pretty significant swing in a season full of milestones for Ortiz.
It’s also a pretty significant selfie, as that one fan will always be able to prove he was talking to Ortiz right before one of his most significant home runs.
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