When the Boston Red Sox took a chance on David Ortiz at the behest of Pedro Martinez, the plan was for him to compete for playing time at first base with Shea Hillenbrand and Kevin Millar.
However, it didn’t take long for him to assert himself and claim designated hitter duties for the team.
After a strong 2003 season, the slugger emerged as one of the best hitters in all of baseball in 2004, playing the role of hero during the ALCS.
But it’s been 20 years since Ortiz first put on a Red Sox uniform.
On Twitter, Red Sox analyst Thomas Carrieri posted a clip of Ortiz’s first Red Sox home run.
David Ortiz’s first home run as a member of the Boston Red Sox. pic.twitter.com/O0zC6pSbKc
— Thomas Carrieri (@Thomas_Carrieri) March 9, 2023
Ortiz hit that home run against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
And in fitting fashion, it came just after ESPN’s Jon Miller had commented that he was only hitting .188.
That was just the first of many home runs hit by Ortiz in a Red Sox uniform.
After a few short years, “Big Papi” had forever etched his name in Red Sox history.
Ortiz was a 10-time All-Star, a seven-time Silver Slugger, a three-time World Series champion, an ALCS MVP, and a World Series MVP during his time with the Red Sox.
From 2004-13, Ortiz was the constant from all three Red Sox World Series titles.
The veteran slugger hit a total of 541 home runs during his career and posted a WAR of 55.3.
In January of 2022, Ortiz was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Needless to say, the Red Sox’s gamble for the slugger ultimately paid off.NEXT: 1 Red Sox Player Is Shining At The World Baseball Classic