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David Ortiz was an integral part of the Boston Red SoxThe 2004 World Series championship, when the Sox broke the “Child’s Curse” and a former teammate believes the retired slugger is the greatest player in franchise history.
Kevin Millar, who collaborated with Twisted Tea to unveil her new Sweet Cherry Lime flavor, explained to Fox News Digital in a recent interview how important Ortiz was to the team. Millar said general manager Theo Epstein, who also deserved credit for how the team was built, took Ortiz on almost a whim after he was initially not drafted since. Minnesota twins after the 2002 season.
Millar also revealed that Ortiz wanted to be traded during the 2003 season if he didn’t have more time to play. It’s something Epstein also mentioned in 2018 in an interview on MLB.com “Executive Access”
“David Ortiz, not assigned to the Twins, came forward and was a little off the line in 2003 and finally scored a home run in Anaheim in May,” recalled Millar. “And I remember he said he wanted to be swapped or play every day because, at the time, Jeremy Giambi was DHing, Shea Hillenbrand, I was taking a ride around the rosy, and he eventually established himself in history as the designated hitter of the Boston Red Sox in mid-May.
“That year, he ended up hitting 31 home runs with 109 RBI and he turned into a notable and notable threat and then he just took off. And then of course the year ’04 and then he just made himself an amazing career and the best. DH I think this game has never seen why – not just his numbers – but the big home runs, the big RBI at the end of the game, and he scored a great pitch. That’s one thing Derek Jeter did on that big stage is that when you’re in the postseason, those pitchers are the best in the league, that’s why they’re there, and they shot well.
“David Ortiz, for me, is the best Red Sox player of all time.”
Ortiz ended his career with 541 home runs. In his last season with Boston in 2016, he was an All-Star and led the championship with 48 doubles, a hit rate of .620 and 1,021 OPS. He also had 38 home runs that year, the most since 2006, when he hit 54.
The three-time World Series champion was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in January after seemingly coming out of nowhere to become the superstar he was.
“That’s why Theo Epstein deserves so much credit because (Ortiz) was available to everyone. But with a non-contracted deal, Theo gave him a chance and brought myself, Todd Walker, Bill Mueller and Jeremy Giambi and David Ortiz in. And the next thing you know, we were all kind of part of a team and David Ortiz just moved to another level, ”Millar said.
“And Manny Ramirez, he was the biggest right hitter I’ve ever seen. You can put Miguel Cabrera up there, you can put Albert Pujols at their peak – those three guys – but we had a chance to really learn from Manny, and David Ortiz has followed Manny around like a little dog. I know David always gives him a lot of credit for his success. It’s part of being a great team and a teammate. We weren’t the best players, but I always say we were the best team “.
Last week, the 10-time All-Star toured the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. He received 77.9% of the votes on baseball writers’ ballots.