Goldman: Big Papi and the Iron Horse: best World Series performers ever?

From SABR member Duke Goldman at on July 14, 2016:

In 2016, David Ortiz may end up with the best season anyone has ever had as a 40-year old.  Papi is hitting .332 with 34 doubles, 22 home runs, and 72 RBIs.  His .426 OBP and .682 slugging percentage means that he has an OPS  of 1.107, which not only is the best in baseball, but is better than any other previous season in his Hall-of-Fame-bound career.

But we all also know that Papi specializes in late-inning heroics.  Witness his 12th inning home run to win Game 4 of the 2004 American League championship series against the Yankees, followed by his mere single in the 14th inning to win Game 5.  And after all was said and done—with Schilling’s bloody sock in Game 6 and later traitor (say Red Sox fans) Johnny Damon’s grand slam in Game 7—the Red Sox had overcome a 3-0 deficit for the first time in postseason baseball history and beat the Yankees in seven games, leading to a four-game sweep of the Cardinals  for their first World Series triumph in 86 years.

Ortiz “86ed” the Cardinals again in the 2013 World Series; his phenomenal performance led the Red Sox to their third World Series title of the 21st century, this time in six games.  Papi had a World Series for the ages and was a veritable one-man wrecking crew against St. Louis, batting .688 with a slugging percentage of 1.188 while the rest of the Sox hit only .169 with a .252 slugging percentage against the Cardinals.

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Originally published: July 21, 2016. Last Updated: July 21, 2016.