The 2002 Twins are my favorite baseball team of all time. Yes, I love 1987 and especially 1991 Twins, but as a team, nothing beats 2002. They were the damn band, and we’re always getting them back together.
That includes David Ortiz, of course, who was a huge member of that group, both figuratively and literally. Back then his nickname was just, “The Big Man.”
As much as I love David and the whole 2002 team, I’m a little done with the whole David Ortiz retirement thing. Not because I don’t care, but because I feel like I’ve been doing it all year for him—or, more honestly? As a Twins fan? Since 2003. I’m done.
But I wanted to remember David a little, so here are a couple all-time Twinkie Town excerpts on The Big Man himself, David Ortiz.
First an foremost: November 9th, 2015: “Corey Koskie found a pair of shoes he stole from David Ortiz 10 years ago” by myjah (It’s not long, and should be viewed in its entirety.)
March 22, 2016: “The band is just constantly trying to get back together” by myjah
News in The Band Getting Back Together: David Ortiz told the Star Tribune's Patrick Reusse he had dinner with Doug Mientkiewicz last week. "I had dinner with Doug Mientkiewicz last week," Ortiz said. "He said Johan [Santana] stopped in the Twins clubhouse the other day, and they started talking about how much talent we had on that Twins team in 2002."
Asked what he thinks would have happened had he stayed with that old team a few more years, Ortiz said: "The Twins would’ve won another World Series."
The barrel of the bat rested just above the turf, hanging from David Ortiz's right hand, as he leaned back to watch his latest ball sail. You knew it from the moment it left the bat. David Ortiz, deep to right field.
Screaming off the bat the ball didn't arch; it was hit too hard. On a straight line you could have charted it to be travelling at a 60 degree angle, leaving doubt as to whether the upper deck would be the force to stop the ball. This was about to be the longest home run hit this season; perhaps in the history of baseball. That is how hard, how high, this pitch was hit.
Suddenly the ball was dropping from the teflon sky. On a bullet that was still rising, the careful placement of a PA speaker robbed David Ortiz of what could have been the biggest (in terms of distance) home run he'd ever hit.
Now, Ortiz is lumbering down to first base, as a ball that never should see the green of a baseball field again is relayed back to the infield. The hardest hit ball I've ever seen, translated into a single.
Up 4-0, a solo shot wouldn't have done too much immediate damage. At the most it shifts momentum just a shade; momentum the intangible bully. Momentum, however, wasn't a fan of the Red Sox last night. No matter how many times they made a run at the Twins, they were ultimately repelled.
It's nice to see some guys stand and watch their home runs. Especially when the lack of effort, due to just a bit of showboating, leads to an inning-ending double play. David Ortiz may never just "watch" his homers in the Metrodome ever again; but he's welcome to, anytime he likes.
RIP David Oritz, you will be missed.