David Ortiz, the 16-year veteran, has been with the Boston Red Sox since 2003. In his time with the Red Sox, Ortiz has gotten a chance to play with hall of fame-caliber players (Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, and Curt Schilling), break the bambino curse, and most importanly, rewarded with contract extensions for his consistent play. As mentioned, Ortiz has seen many greats come and go in the organization, but he is the only player remaining from the 2004 team that broke "the curse" and won the World Series.
So what has kept Ortiz, who turns 38 next month, with the Red Sox for so long? Ortiz has remained productive- plain and simple. Since joining the Red Sox, he hasn't hit less than 23 home runs in a season. Aside from consistency, Ortiz is a great teammate and clubhouse leader. Big Papi, as nickname that was given to Ortiz since his first couple of seasons with the Red Sox, has always been respected by his teammates. He's also a fan favorite, which has made him marketable for the organization.
Is that it? Are those the only reasons why Big Papi is still a Red Sox after 11 seasons? Well, no. How about post-season performance? Ortiz is clutch in the off-season. Entering Monday's game, Ortiz had a .290 batting average with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs. Currenty, in this post-season, Ortiz is hitting a whopping .733 with five homers and 14 RBIs.
Jon Lester, Game 5 starter, who dominated the Cardinals like he did in game 1, has been key to the Red Sox being on the verge of winning the World Series. It is hard to take any credit from Lester after both starts, but it is equally hard to leave off 250-pound Designated Hitter off the line-up, as well. If the Red Sox go on to win the World Series, David Ortiz has my vote for World Series MVP.