Happy Birthday, Big Papi

Today is a nationwide holiday – Red Sox Nation, that is. It’s David Ortiz’s birthday.

I’ve written about David Ortiz about a million times. Check the tag if you feel like diving in. It’s no secret that he’s my favorite player and one of my favorite humans on this planet.

I could use today as an excuse to talk about his 3 World Series rings, 10 All-Star games, 7 Silver Sluggers. I could reminisce about his .286 career batting average, 1,768 RBIs (22nd all-time), 541 homers (17th all-time), and remind you that he holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs, with 54. But instead of going on and on about him (again), I’m just going to share a few of my favorite Big Papi moments so we can relive his greatness together:

Back-to-back walk-offs in Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS:

500th Homer:

When he tortured New Yorkers on and off the field:

His rallying cry:

Any time he made kids’ dreams come true, like Maverick:

Literally every minute of the 2013 postseason when he batted .688:

When he said goodbye to Red Sox Nation and everyone cried, including him:

When we retired his number and everyone at Fenway dissolved into a flood of tears, myself included:

Papi, I can’t emphasize enough how much you mean to me and the rest of Boston. You’ve given us some of the greatest moments in sports history, and you’ve helped us get through some of our darkest times. To say you’re a Boston icon and our hero doesn’t even begin to do you justice. I could fill encyclopedias with my gratitude, and it still wouldn’t be enough, so I’ll just say happy birthday to the most clutch, epic, incredible player to ever wear the uniform. Red Sox Nation ♥s you.

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