In honor of David Ortiz having his No. 34 retired by the Red Sox, MLB.com and John Hancock are celebrating Big Papi's greatest career moments with the "Papi 10 List," counting down one legendary moment each day leading up to the June 23 pregame ceremony at Fenway Park.For 67 years,
In honor of David Ortiz having his No. 34 retired by the Red Sox, MLB.com and John Hancock are celebrating Big Papi's greatest career moments with the "Papi 10 List," counting down one legendary moment each day leading up to the June 23 pregame ceremony at Fenway Park.
For 67 years, Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx held the Red Sox record for the most home runs in a single season, with 50. But by midseason in 2006, it was becoming clear that David Ortiz had a legitimate opportunity to break the longstanding mark.
Big Papi had 37 homers by the end of July. Fittingly, Ortiz broke the franchise record on Sept. 21, 2006, against the Minnesota Twins -- the team that had released him more than three years earlier.
The record-setting blast was hit against left-hander Johan Santana, one of the premier pitchers in the game and the American League leader in wins and ERA at that point. Ortiz swung at the first pitch he saw from Santana in the first inning, sending it over the Red Sox bullpen in right-center into a mob of frenzied fans.
• Papi 10 List: Ortiz's greatest moments
Ortiz's record-breaking homer was a solo shot with two outs. He trotted around the bases to a standing ovation from a sellout crowd. When he reached home plate, Ortiz raised both hands to the sky in his usual post-homer gesture. Ortiz was then congratulated by on-deck hitter Mike Lowell before he walked to the Red Sox dugout and was greeted by hugs from his coaches and teammates.
After being recognized by his team for an amazing accomplishment, Ortiz climbed to the top step of the dugout and tipped his cap. The Fenway faithful roared.
Ortiz added another solo homer off Matt Guerrier in the seventh, belting a 3-2 pitch over the wall in center field. This time, Ortiz received the silent treatment from his teammates in the dugout. A few moments later, they gathered around Ortiz for more hugs. The Red Sox won the game, 6-0.
Big Papi finished the season with 54 homers, a club record that still stands.
**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com.