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The time David Ortiz hit a homer with a broken wrist

Oct 16, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

david ortiz twins AP

David Ortiz‘s postseason heroics with the Red Sox are a huge part of how his exceptional career will be remembered, but Big Papi was hitting dramatic homers before he was Big Papi.

I stumbled across this Associated Press article from 2001, when Ortiz was a 25-year-old in his second full season with the Twins:

Minnesota Twins designated hitter David Ortiz was placed on the disabled list Saturday, a day after breaking his right wrist diving into home plate.

Ortiz was injured Friday night in the fourth inning of Minnesota’s 6-2 victory over Kansas City. One inning later, he homered into the right-field bullpen, but rounding the bases he knew the pain was more than discomfort. He then went to a hospital for X-rays. Ortiz is expected to miss six to eight weeks. …

Twins’ trainers at first thought Ortiz hurt a thumb. “We asked David maybe 90 times or 100, I’m not sure, I lost track: Are you all right?” manager Tom Kelly said. “He said he was, so we let him hit. After he hit, the trainers said his wrist was starting to swell, so we got him out of there.”

Also worth noting amid the usual (and mostly deserved) grousing about the Twins cutting Ortiz following the 2002 season: He has the fifth-highest OPS in Twins history among all hitters with at least 1,500 plate appearances through age 26–which is when he left–behind only Joe Mauer, Kent Hrbek, Justin Morneau, and Lyman Bostock.

David Ortiz wasn’t always DAVID ORTIZ, but he could always hit. Even with a broken wrist.

  1. rickdobrydney - Oct 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Especially when he started juicing. Boy, then he could really hit——-

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      That didn’t take long.


    • ltzep75 - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      You’re thinking of Jack LaLanne, may he rest in peace.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Good sir, I believe stones should not be cast by a man whose own team may be guilty of the same ,alleged, cheating.

    • theskinsman - Oct 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      And your proof of that is, much like your intelligence, is non existent.

  2. fmlizard - Oct 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    If I remember, the fan sentiment in Minnesota was that Ortiz was a good young player but he was slow, could really only DH, and was very not clutch. I have vivid memories of those Oakland and Anaheim series where he seemed to only get a hit when it didn’t count. We were all pretty stunned when not only did he break out in Boston but he also became clutch, FWIW in baseball.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      Seems like sports are a lot of right guy in the right system. Makes you wonder the potential lost for the guys who never found the right home.

      • quintjs - Oct 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        I remember years ago some interview with Ortiz talking about his time with the Twins and he said something like everytime he was up with runners on base there was pressure to have a good at bat, make contact, move runners along etc (so the Twins way) and then at the end of the year they would ask him why he didn’t hit more home runs.

        When he got to Boston he had one of these good moving the runners along at bats and walked into the dugout rather content where he was asked what he was doing – ‘we pay you to drive those guys in’. Boston unleashed Ortiz and allowed him to do what he wanted to do which was swing for the fences.

        As you said jcmeyer its about getting the right guy into the right system and putting them in an situation to succeed.

  3. bkunza - Oct 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    He was always hurt. If he was traded back to Minnesota he’d pull a muscle putting on his jersey.

  4. rickdobrydney - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Aceshigh11 — class, real class. He is a PED user , get used to it.

    • mornelithe - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Prove it. Oh that’s right you can’t. All Ortiz failed was a test for banned substances, not specifically PED’s.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Want to give back a couple of those banners if you want to start this?

  5. disgracedfury - Oct 16, 2013 at 4:13 PM


    AROD, Clemens and Bonds never failed a drug test but we know they took banned substances.Thats the problem with the drug system they don’t catch the big people only the trainers who are caught.

    The only guys you will get in the drug testing is Dominican prospect’s who are taking the cheap PEDS.Ortiz juiced and would have been a good hitter but of a borderline hall of famer he is now.

    • mornelithe - Oct 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      You do realize that A-Rod admitted to using a substance from the DR, with the street name Boli or Bole, right?

  6. neoshweaty - Oct 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    These guys talking about how Ortiz juiced are pretty funny. Where’s the proof that he took steroids or HGH? As I recall, he tested positive for a banned substance and we don’t know what that was but sure, it was steroids and he’s been juicing for 10 years without anyone coming up with any solid proof he did anything.

  7. yankeepunk3000 - Oct 16, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    maybe he did take something for the wrist. Got healthy and didn’t really get hurt till recently. It is hard to believe he wouldnt have failed a test by now if he was juicing so I do believe he hasn’t been roiding all these years. People want to say it doesnt make sense how he went from terrible to great but he wasn’t terrible. Plus moving to a hitter haven like Fenway AND being around a stronger lineup will help. Plus he just turned 27 which would be his prime and it all adds up that it was just good timing

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