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.Before David Ortiz
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.
Before David Ortiz stepped to the plate, it was hard not to have that feeling. He'd come through in the clutch so many times during the playoffs, and this time would be no different.
That thought crept into the minds of many baseball fans across the country with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Red Sox trailing, 5-1, during Game 2 of the 2013 American League Championship Series against the Tigers.
• Papi 10 List: Ortiz's greatest moments
On cue, Ortiz belted a first-pitch 83-mph changeup into the Boston bullpen, just out of the reach of right fielder Torii Hunter to tie the game at 5. Big Papi had been 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series before the grand slam.
After hitting his first home run against Joaquin Benoit, Ortiz barely cracked a smile as he rounded the bases, knowing more work was still to be done. However, he did take a curtain call as the fans continued to cheer.
"I tell you what, man, postseason is something that it can work both ways for you," Ortiz said. "It can go well if you stay calm. Or it can go bad if you try to overdo things."
So many unforgettable images came from that one home run: Hunter flipping over Boston's bullpen, police officer Steve Horgan lifting his hands up as the ball went over the wall, Benoit looking on in shock as Ortiz rounded the bases.
Ortiz's teammates were along for the ride, smiling and streaming out of the dugout to meet him after the grand slam.
"Just pandemonium," catcher David Ross said about the scene in the dugout. "People going crazy. High-fiving. People screaming."
Jonathan Gomes started the winning rally with a single in the ninth, before scoring the winning run on a single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia to give the Red Sox a 6-5 win.
The magnitude of the home run cannot be overstated. The Red Sox lost a 1-0 nail biter in Game 1 at Fenway Park, and had the club lost Game 2, it would have been going to Detroit to face Justin Verlander in Game 3 in a huge hole.
The grand slam lit a fire under the Red Sox, who would go on to take the ALCS in six games and win the 2013 World Series.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com.