By: Jacob Goldstein
The story goes that Juan Ponce de León, a Spanish explorer who had arrived in America on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus, became the first European to set foot in Florida in 1513 and according to legend, he was looking for “the source of youth”. Unfortunately, he did not find it, but the one who discovered it was a Dominican named David Américo Ortiz, who is 40 years old and has been playing baseball in the Major Leagues for 20 years.
Ortiz, whom everyone knows as El Gran Papi, debuted in the majors with the Minnesota Twins in 1997, played six years with them and then went to Boston as a member of the Red Sox, a team with which he has played 14 years and has led him to win three world series. In addition, during his brilliant career, El Papi has already connected close to 520 home runs, has driven in more than 1,700 runs and has scored close to 1,400, in addition to having connected close to 1,400 doubles. Last year at the “tender” age of 39, he hit 37 home runs and drove in more than 100 runs. And let’s point out that in 2006, El Papi set the record for most home runs, 54, in a season for a Red Sox player.
And to prove that he did find the fountain of youth, this season, at age 40, he’s playing like he’s 20, on course to hit 30-plus homers and right now leads the majors in RBIs. and in doublets. There is no doubt that he will be elected again as a regular member of the American League team that will participate in the All-Star Game, the tenth time he has achieved that honor, since the team is chosen by the fans.
Papi has said this will be his last season, but with the numbers he’s putting up with his bat and the way he’s bringing his team to first place in their division, I’m sure the Red Sox and their fans won’t let Papi, who is already a living icon, goes into retirement.