I hate starting a post like this with a bunch of rules. But, my mind immediately wondered if I meant games where he performed well, or important games where he happened to play? I decided to just go with whatever games came to mind...in no particular order.
Here we go...
July 26, 2003. NY Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox. Yup, a random July game. But, it's my very first Ortiz walk-off. I think. Definitely the first I remember. Ortiz came into the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game. There were two outs, and men on first and second. Ortiz was pinch-hitting for the second baseman Damian Jackson who had previously pinch run for Todd Walker. At the time, part of me was hoping Ortiz would make an out. I was pretty sure the Sox were out of infielders at this point and wondered if Ortiz would need to play second. But, of course, Ortiz didn't make an out. He slapped a single to win the game.
October 23, 2004. St. Louis Cardinals vs. Boston Red Sox.
This was game one of the 2004 World Series. I've said before that I dislike the definition of "clutch" to mean "late and close". You can absolutely have a "clutch" hit in the first inning. Ortiz did it in game seven of the ALCS, and he did it here. The Cardinals went down scoreless in the top of the first, and Ortiz came up with two on and one out. His home run to right really set the tone for the game and, eventually, the series.
October 17, 2004. New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox.
Game four of the ALCS. The Key to it all. Without this win, the seven that followed it don't happen. How did Ortiz contribute? Well, if you don't know I'm not sure why you're reading this blog. His extra-innings home run won the game and really started to make us all realize he was something special.
The World Series clincher. To be honest, this game was as much about what Ortiz didn't do as what he did. Ortiz had a monster series that year. He was torturing the Cardinals, and they kept letting him. People were demanding that they walk Ortiz every time he came to the plate. They wouldn't. Until this game. This time they walked Ortiz four times in five plate appearances. The results? Ortiz ended up scoring twice as the people behind him pulled their weight. It was like the Cardinals couldn't win.
October 30, 2013. St. Louis Cardinals vs. Boston Red Sox.
April 20, 2013. Kansas City Royals vs. Boston Red Sox. Speaking of games where Ortiz Didn't do anything, in this one he didn't even play. Of course, that didn't matter. As the Sox prepared to play their first game following the Boston Marathon bombing, Ortiz took the microphone to share a few words with the crowd and the city. What followed was legendary.
And there are five that came to mind immediately. I'm sure if I thought about it, I'd come up with more.
How about you? What are great Ortiz games you attended? Saw?