He can't win the MVP, apparently, because he doesn't wear a Mizuno to the diamond, but will Hall of Fame voters overlook that fact when it comes time to decide upon David Ortiz's Hall of Fame status?
Sports Illustratedís Tom Verducci makes the case for the Sox slugger.
Ortiz has a remarkable streak going. His OPS has improved four consecutive years, and that's beginning with an impressive 144 number back in 2003. So it's logical to assume he's not headed for a decline soon, especially if he keeps to his bland breakfasts.
Here's something else unusual about Ortiz: He has slugged at least .592 for five consecutive seasons, a level of sustained power-hitting excellence that is historically rare. Ortiz is one of 11 players in history with that kind of streak, with only Barry Bonds (eight straight), Babe Ruth (seven and six), Hank Greenberg (seven), Mark McGwire (six) and Ted Williams (six) with more consecutive such seasons.
Look at Ortiz's consistency delivering extra-base hits. He has pounded out 85 extra-base hits or more for four consecutive years. Only Lou Gehrig (five seasons) ever had a longer such streak and only Sammy Sosa has matched Ortiz's run. Even if you forget about whether such seasons came consecutively or not, only four hitters ever had more 85-extra-base seasons than Ortiz already has: Gehrig (eight), Ruth (seven) and Greenberg and Stan Musial (five).
Finally, there's the completely unscientific test: give me your five best hitters in baseball. You don't have to crunch the numbers on this one. Just tell me the five guys who you think are the best in the business at squaring up a baseball. If you didn't have Ortiz on that short list in any of the past four seasons, I'd have to question what you've been eating for breakfast.
Thatís a nice breakdown, but itís not likely to ever happen. As Verducci admits, a full-time DH has never made the Hall of Fame (Paul Molitor only spent half his career as a DH) and there are bound to be far too many voters who will hold that against Ortiz. But that's neither here, nor there. Until the numbers are even close to Hall of Fame worth, we won't be having this discussion.