This blog is intended to be insight into my life as an irrational, stats-driven, obsessive sports fan in Boston. I am a fan of all types of sports with an emphasis on Boston teams and am a proud UConn alum.
Happy 64th Birthday to Hall of Famer Jim Rice! The Anderson, SC native hit 382 HRs and had 1,451 RBIs over a long 16-year career, all with the Boston Red Sox. In 2009, on his final Hall of Fame Ballot (15th year), Jim Ed was given baseball’s highest honor; being enshrined in Cooperstown.
David Ortiz is arguably the best DH of all time and one of the greatest Red Sox players of all time. At age 40 he has decided to retire at the end of the 2016 season, but is certainly not looking like an aging star. Through 46 games, he is hitting .335 with 14 HRs, 47 RBIs, 23 doubles and a triple. He is on track for an incredible final season, one for the ages. Looking at his accomplishments thus far in 2016 and projecting out to the end of the season, I wanted to see statistically where Ortiz ranks among the great players of all time. For those who are curious, I projected Ortiz to play in 140 games, about his career average for games per season and a realistic number given that the Red Sox will be resting him routinely to maintain his health the entire year. Given that, here is where I think Ortiz will rank in various categories when he retires (assuming he still retires) at the end of the 2016 season.
All-Time Rankings – Projected Hits 104th – 2,483
Home Runs 17th – 546
RBIs 21st – 1,784
Doubles 8th – 654
Runs Scored 89th – 1,419
Total Bases 30th – 4,815 The numbers Ortiz has put up in his career are incredibly impressive. When you factor in his impact on the DH position in baseball and his great postseason success (.295 with 17 HRs and 60 RBIs), it would make sense that he would join the other 217 MLB players in the Hall of Fame. The only thing potentially holding him back is his failed drug test in 2003 that led to steroid suspicions that continue to this day. Over the past several years and for many more to come, voters will have to struggle with the fact that many of the great players during this era of baseball used steroids, are directly connected to steroids, or are indirectly linked to steroids. Do you keep anyone who is even remotely linked to steroids out of the Hall? That would leave many of this generation’s greatest stars and talents out of the institution solely designed to honor the game’s greatest stars. Although I can’t predict the future, I have a strong feeling the Hall of Fame voters will have adjusted their thinking by the time Ortiz is eligible in 2021 and we will see that classic Big Papi smile in bronze for eternity.