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The Mass Media

David Ortiz Ends Career With Hank Aaron Award

Photo+of+the+Day+Project%2C+Oct.+26%2C+2016%3A+Kris+Bryant%2C+Hank+Aaron%2C+Rob+Manfred+and+David+Ortiz+during+the+Aaron+Award+ceremony.

Photo of the Day Project, Oct. 26, 2016: Kris Bryant, Hank Aaron, Rob Manfred and David Ortiz during the Aaron Award ceremony.

The Hank Aaron Award is given every year to two Major League Baseball players, one from the American League (AL) and one from the National League (NL), who are deemed the top hitters in their respective leagues. Fans vote for the player they feel is deserving via online resources, like MLB.com. The Hank Aaron Award had its start in 1999—the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron passing Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs. The award is announced to both winners right before the fourth game of the World Series every season. Hank Aaron presents the award to the winners. 

David Ortiz has played in the MLB for 20 years, and since this was his last year, it concluded with receiving the 2016 AL Hank Aaron Award. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 right before game two of the 2016 World Series in Cleveland. Kris Bryant, 24-year old Cubs third baseman, was the National League winner. Commissioner Rob Manfred and Hank Aaron presented their awards. 

Even at 40 years old, ”Big Papi” is the greatest hitter in baseball. Statistics show that he had an on-base plus slugging (OPS) of 1.021. During his final season, he batted .315, hit 38 home runs and 48 doubles, and had 127 RBI’s. Ortiz also had 80 walks and a .401 on-base percentage. His numbers are still impressive even at his age, and he finished his last season with a bang! His home runs and RBI totals were at an all time high since 2006, and totaled the most by a player in his final season of all time.  

After receiving his award, Ortiz stated, “I think it’s an honor to be part of this unbelievable award.” He says it’s the kind of award he looks at every day. Ortiz also won the award back in 2005. Over his 20-season career, he has finished with 541 home runs and 1,768 RBI’s. When compared to Hank Aaron’s 23-year career 755 home runs and 2,297 RBI’s, it’s pretty good! Ortiz is a 10-time American League all-star and played in all of the 76 Red Sox postseason games since 2003, which is the most in the franchise’s history.

Kris Bryant, on the other hand, is considered a top slugger in his second MLB season. He batted with an average of .292 with 39 homers, 102 RBI’s, a .385 on-base percentage and a .554 slugging percentage. He ranks third for the most home runs in the National League, and the most by a Chicago Cub since Derrek Lee’s 46 home runs in 2005. 

Red Sox Nation should be thrilled that David Ortiz won this prestigious award, based on his strong work ethic and passion for playing the game he loves. Ortiz has achieved just about everything there is to achieve in his sport, and this merely puts an exclamation point on that.