Yesterday baseball writers elected David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, better known as Big Papi, to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I was trying to work on a thing for yesterday, but ran out of time. While I will attempt to return to that later, for now I want to share a simple interactive graphic from the Boston Globe. As the blog title suggests, it’s about the 558 career home runs Ortiz hit between his time with the Twins and the Red Sox. He hit 541 of those during the regular season, tacking on 17 more in the post season including his famous 2013 ALCS grand slam against the Detroit Tigers. (The one where the cop’s arms are in the air alongside Torii Hunter’s legs.)
Now you can see that Ortiz was a left-handed pull hitter with that home run concentration to right field, especially those wrapped around Fenway’s (in)famous Pesky Pole.
But with the number of dots you see inside the grounds at Fenway, you can also see the one downside of a chart like this. The graphic maps home runs at all Major League ballparks to that of Fenway. Not to mention the role that the Green Monster plays in turning a lot of those line drive home runs that when hit to right field leave the yard, but to left simply bounce off the Monster for doubles or the dreaded long single. But in part that’s why Ortiz also had ridiculous season numbers for extra base hits because of all those Green Monster doubles. (Conversely, how many popups a mile in the sky came down into the Green Monster seats?)
You access this interactive piece by scrolling through the experience as the Globe chose 12 home runs to represent Ortiz’s entire career. I’m fortunate enough to remember watching several of them on the television.
Big Papi was a force to be reckoned with and watching him hit was entertainment. I’m very excited to see him enter the Hall of Fame.
This summer? It’s his effing Hall.
Credit for the piece goes to John Hancock.