Big Papi wins eighth Outstanding DH Award

Red Sox slugger posts huge numbers in final season

November 30th, 2016

Red Sox slugger , fresh off perhaps the best walk-off season in history, has been voted the winner of the 2016 Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.

Big Papi extended his own record by winning the award for an eighth time. Martinez won it five times during his impressive career with the Mariners.

In his final season, Ortiz hit .315 with 48 doubles, 38 homers and 127 RBIs in 140 games for Boston.

Ballots are cast by club beat writers, broadcasters and American League public relations departments, with nominees including all players with a minimum of 100 at-bats as a designated hitter.

Seattle's finished second following a season in which he hit .304 with 18 doubles, 33 home runs, 85 RBIs and 72 runs scored while in the DH spot. Overall, Cruz hit .287 with 27 doubles, 43 home runs, 105 RBIs and 96 runs scored.

On his 40th birthday -- Nov. 18, 2015 -- Ortiz announced that he would play one more season before retiring.

Few could have predicted how dominant Ortiz would be in his last season. He led MLB in OPS (1.021), doubles (48), slugging percentage (.620), extra- base hits (87) while tying for second in RBIs (127).

In typical Ortiz fashion, there was also the flair for dramatic. Take, for example, the game on May 14 against the Astros, when Ortiz tied the game with a two-out RBI triple in the ninth and then won it with a double in the 11th for the 23rd walk-off hit of his career.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ortiz set single-season records for players age 40-or-over in doubles, extra-base hits (87), home runs and RBIs.

Fittingly, Ortiz's final homer -- No. 541 in his career -- was a go-ahead two-run homer to lead the Red Sox to a win over the Blue Jays on Sept. 30. That was also the 1,192nd extra-base hit of Big Papi's career, allowing him to tie Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. for eighth on the all-time list.

This is the 43rd season of the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award, which was renamed in honor of Martinez by former Commissioner Bud Selig in a September 2004 ceremony at Safeco Field.

Ortiz also won the award from 2003-07, as well as in '11 and '13.