The Boston Red Sox franchise changed forever on this day 17 years ago.
The Sox signed free agent slugger David Ortiz on Jan. 23, 2003. Ortiz had just finished his sixth season with the Minnesota Twins, during which he batted .272 with 20 home runs and 72 RBI. The Twins chose not to keep him, and this colossally foolish decision turned out to be a massive gain for Boston.
Ortiz would go on to lead the Red Sox to three World Series championships, with many clutch hits and memorable moments along the way.
Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez played a pivotal role in the team adding Ortiz in 2003, and he celebrated the anniversary of Big Papi's signing with a special tweet Thursday.
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) January 22, 2020
Ortiz will join Martinez in the Red Sox Hall of Fame later this year. When eligible, he deserves to join Martinez in the Baseball Hall of Fame as well.