David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox slugger, is the only player of his kind. Even in his 20th season, which, despite the protestations of fans everywhere he swears will be his last, Ortiz remains an unmatched asset, a hitter who may put more fear in pitchers than any other in the game. His current abilities account for some of the intimidation—he has hit 31 home runs this year, with a league-leading slugging percentage—but so does his history. The Red Sox have won three World Series championships in the past dozen years, in 2004 and 2007 and 2013, and Ortiz has been at the center of each one, getting his team out of all manner of trouble with arcing, perfectly timed homers. Across baseball, he is a legend. In Boston, he is something like a deity.
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