As you all know David Ortiz recently announced that he plans to retire at the end of the 2016 season. He has had a long and successful career, but is it Hall of Fame worthy? The Hall of Fame voting can be weird sometimes, commonly voters look for certain statistical plateaus for example, 300 wins, 3,000 hits or 500 home runs. In your typical case, a player that has reached a statistical milestone will be voted into the Hall of Fame. David Ortiz has been a 9 time All-Star and has 2303 career hits, 1641 RBIs and 503 HRs. Therefore, since Ortiz is a member of the 500 HR Club, he would receive plenty of votes.
Unfortunately, David Ortiz is not your typical case since his name has been brought up surrounding performance-enhancing drug use around the 2003 season after the Mitchell Report had been released. Ortiz was not listed on the Mitchell Report, but many believe that it is due to the author, George Mitchell who supposedly had a conflict of interest with the Boston Red Sox. Regardless, if history has shown us anything it is that the Hall of Fame voters have very little sympathy for players surround the Steriod Era and PED use. Barry Bonds, the all-time leader in home runs has never gained more than 40% on the ballots and slugger Rafael Palmeiro, who has smashed 569 home runs, was removed from the ballot for receiving less than 5% of votes on the ballot.
I believe that Ortiz makes a much better case for Cooperstown than Palmeiro due to his postseason performances and what he meant to the City of Boston. David Ortiz won the ALCS MVP in 2004, leading the Red Sox on a journey to Reverse the Curse of the Bambino and captured the 2013 World Series MVP (where he batted 0.688) to bring a title back to help heal Boston. Ortiz was an icon and leader after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, he stole the microphone and said what was on everybody’s mind. He rallied a city when they needed him the most and there is no way to value that for a Hall of Fame ballot. There is no statistic on how big his impact was on Red Sox Nation and no statistic to speak to his character.
I would vote for David Ortiz, his numbers, his talent, his personality and his nature are all up to Hall of Fame expectations. David Ortiz might have begun his career as a Seattle Mariner, before shortly leaving Seattle for the Minnesota Twins but David Ortiz is a Red Sox. Ortiz embodies the heart of Red Sox Nation and it will be a special day in Fenway Park when his number 34 is permanently retired and immortalized in right field.
Tell us what you think!