Last night Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz passed Harold Baines for the number one spot in all-time hits for a designated hitter. Ortiz hit his 1,689th hit against the Seattle Mariners yesterday. The American League instituted the DH spot in 1973 and now Ortiz is at the top of the mountain for designated hitters.
The milestone happened in the second inning when Big Papi hit a double of off Mariners pitcher Aaron Harang. The fans at Safeco Field respected the accolade by giving Ortiz a standing ovation.
To top off the night Ortiz it a two-run home run, which makes it his 19th of the season. Ortiz is no stranger to being the leader in stats as the DH. Ortiz is at the top for other categories for that position such as the most runs scored, doubles, home runs, extra-base hits and RBIs.
David is a on a hot streak right now for Boston. He is 8-for-10 in his last at bats and has reached base in 20 of his past 21 games. While riding this streak Ortiz has 9 doubles, 5 homers and 16 RBIs.
During the media session, Ortiz was asked why he was doing so well. In true Big Papi form he replied, “What you mean lately? I’ve been hitting .300 the whole season. What are you watching?”
“He goes out there every day and he’s so consistent you almost expect it,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said of Ortiz. “You feel bad whenever he goes 0-for-4 and you’re like, ‘Come on man, are you kidding me?’ That’s how good he has been.”
Ortiz did come up in the Mariners farm system. Seattle traded Ortiz to the Minnesota Twins for Dave Hollins. It is kind of fitting for him to have this milestone in Seattle. Ortiz did say that he did look up to Mariners DH legend Edgar Martinez. “It’s good to be mentioned with some of the greatest hitters that ever played the game,” Ortiz said. “I used to love to watch Edgar. He was a wonderful hitter.”
He continued to say, “I’m the kind of guy that just takes what they give me,” he said. “If they don’t give me anything to hit, what should I do? I’ll walk to first base. That’s what I’ve been doing all season.”
It will be interesting to see who might follow David’s success in the future as a designated hitter. It might be tough for someone to pass this record since he is not even done playing. Ortiz looked up to Martinez growing up. I bet some kid in the minors is studying David’s swing to be able to one day reach Big Papi status.