BOSTON -- You will notice a theme to the classic Red Sox games that NESN airs throughout this week.
They will all be about Big Papi.
No Red Sox player in the 21st century has created more memorable moments than David Ortiz, and viewers will get to relive a bunch of them in six games airing Monday through Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
The best of Big Papi week premieres Monday with an American League pennant-race game between the Red Sox and Orioles on Sept. 23, 2003. The thrilling late-inning affair ends with Ortiz belting the first of his 12 walk-off homers for Boston (including the postseason).
You’ll notice something strange when Ortiz crosses the plate. He doesn’t toss his helmet off before he gets there. That was an art he would perfect in ’04.
Though the Red Sox didn’t win a championship in 2005, Ortiz was at his very best, finishing second in the AL Most Valuable Player Award race to Alex Rodriguez. In Tuesday’s game, Ortiz almost single-handedly led the Red Sox to victory on Sept. 29, tying the contest in the eighth with a homer and winning it in the ninth with a walk-off single.
Wednesday features another walk-off homer -- this one as clutch as any Ortiz ever hit in the regular season. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Sox down by two, Ortiz crushed a three-run shot to right against Akinori Otsuka to lift Boston over the Rangers.
Thursday is about a milestone, as NESN takes you back to Sept. 21, 2006, the night Ortiz clubbed homer Nos. 51 and 52 to break Jimmie Foxx’s all-time single-season club record.
An even more precious milestone is on tap for Friday, as Ortiz belts homer Nos. 499 and 500 against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Sept. 12, 2015.
Big Papi’s big week will be capped on Saturday with the final walk-off hit of his legendary career -- a double in the 11th inning to beat the Astros. And that was after Ortiz had already tied the game with an RBI triple with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
The following week, NESN will showcase the best of Roger Clemens.