Published December 25, 2016
As a younger player, David Ortiz looked up to the hitting power of Harold Baines and Edgar Martinez.
Which is why this moment is not lost on Ortiz as he has passes both Baines and Martinez to become baseball's all-time leader in hits as a designated hitter.
"Wonderful hitters and when I first came up watching those guys," Ortiz said. "Now for your name to get mentioned next to theirs, it's a wonderful thing."
In his first at-bat Wednesday night, Ortiz doubled to pass Baines for the most hits as a DH and hit a two-run homer an inning later, leading the Boston Red Sox to an 11-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Ortiz had entered the night tied with Baines with 1,688 hits as a DH.
The Dominican slugger doubled to left-center field to lead off the second inning and was immediately acknowledged by a standing ovation from a mix of Red Sox and Mariners fans in the stands for accomplishing this tremendous new feat.
Ortiz appeared touched by the ovation as he rumbled into second. He tipped his helmet twice toward the standing fans and patting his chest as his milestone was shown on the video board. Ortiz already held the marks for the most runs scored, doubles, home runs, extra-base hits and RBIs by a designated hitter.
"The fans, they looked forward to that. They look forward to watch guys breaking records and getting to a certain level," Ortiz said. "They really appreciated it."
Just an inning later, Ortiz collected his eighth hit of the series with a two-run homer off Seattle starter Aaron Harang (4-8), his 19th this season.
"There is nothing that guy does that amazes me. He goes out there every day and is so consistent that you almost expect it. You kind of feel bad whenever he goes 0 for 4 and you're like, 'Come on man, are you kidding me?'" Boston catcher Jared Saltalamacchia said. "But that's how good he is and how consistent he's been in his career."
Ortiz scored in the second on Saltalamacchia's sacrifice fly, then provided the big blow in the third with a two-out, two-run homer to right-center field, his second straight game going deep.
"I've seen too much of him over the years," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "He is about as professional a hitter as you can be. Still has the bat speed, still has the power, commands the strike zone as good as anybody in the game."
After Seattle held a 5-1 lead after two innings in Tuesday's game, the Red Sox have outscored the Mariners 21-7 in the following 16 innings.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.