The fans in Boston call him Big Papi, in roughly six years time will the rest of the baseball world call him Hall of Famer David Ortiz? While his home run totals are gaudy, his lack of fielding stats turn some voters off completely, citing him as a one-dimensional player. That attempt to define Ortiz, often applied to designated hitters, is misleading as there are more than a few current Hall of Famers who were excellent at one thing but terrible at others.

Bill Mazeroski has an on-base percentage of just .299 and a slugging average in the .300s which is incredibly low, so why is Space Man in the Hall? His glovework in the 1950s and 1960s from the middle infield was so phenomenal that in 5 seasons his Defensive Wins Above Replacement was above 2.0 which is outstanding even for one campaign let alone five. Other players enshrined despite their lack of offense to go with elite glove include Brooks Robinson, Ozzie Smith, Joe Tinker, Frank Chance, and Johnny Evers.

If these players can be inducted for defense despite being minus offensive players then why can’t a Designated Hitter whose job is only to hit be included? Frank Thomas was inducted despite finishing with more games at Designated Hitter than a first baseman, although at not nearly as skewed a ratio as Ortiz. In terms of World Series Championships, Ortiz has won three of Major League Baseball’s most coveted prize, first helping to end the Red Sox 86 year title drought in 2004, winning again in 2007, and then with an MVP effort in 2013 against my beloved Cardinals adding a third ring to his hand. For the reasons of other one-dimensional Hall of Famers, 500 career home runs, and three World Series rings David Ortiz should find his next baseball home in Cooperstown, New York when his Sox days are up.

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