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.David Ortiz's reputation
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.
David Ortiz's reputation as one of the most clutch players of all time was yet to be cemented when the Red Sox opened the 2004 postseason against the Angels.
Ortiz had played well against the Angels during the regular season, hitting .300 with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs in eight games.
On Oct. 8, 2004, after the Red Sox won the first two games of the best-of-five American League Division Series, Ortiz strode to the plate in Game 3 in the bottom of the 10th inning with the score tied at 6 and Johnny Damon on first base after drawing a walk.
Ortiz belted a two-run homer, his first game-winning hit in the postseason, to send the Red Sox to the AL Championship Series to face the Yankees.
• Papi 10 List: Ortiz's greatest moments
Whereas most of Ortiz's noteworthy home runs were hit to right field, this was one of the few hit to the opposite field and over the Green Monster.
Ortiz pumped his fists and the Fenway crowd erupted. As he rounded first base, his teammates spilled out of the dugout and then piled on top of him as he touched home plate.
Even before that game-winning home run, you could tell Ortiz was in the zone. After a strikeout in the first inning, he belted doubles in the third and fourth.
He finished the game 4-for-6 with two doubles, the home run and three RBIs. It was the only time in 85 career postseason games that he had four hits.
Plenty more walk-off hits were to come for Ortiz -- in that postseason and over the rest of his career.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com.