Every time I watch a Red Sox game and see “Big Papi” David Ortiz come to the plate and hit a monster home run I can’t help but think back a decade ago to another beloved left-handed, Babe Ruth-like slugger named Mo Vaughn. Both guys took their time to become stars, Mo in 1995 at the age of 27 hit 39 home runs and drove in 126 R.B.I, and Ortiz, who at 27 years of age had his first big year when he hit 31 home runs and drove in 101 R.B.I. The similarities don’t end there, either.
In twelve seasons, Mo Vaugh hit 30+ home runs and 100+ R.B.I 6 times. Ortiz, has done it just 5 times, but 2008 will be his 12th season in the bigs. Got any projections on what he will do this season? I think I do. Also, despite both players being more Cecil Fielder and less Wade Boggs, if you know what I mean, both have a pretty high career batting average and not surprisingly, it’s just 4 points away from each other, with Mo having the edge at .293 lifetime. You want more? Both were voted into the all-star game 4 times a piece.
It seems that when the Boston Red Sox lost Mo Vaughn in 1999, they wished upon a star for a slugger who looked, hit, and to a degree, was exactly like the “Hit Dog” and they were given a journeyman by the name of David Ortiz. I am sure no one expected that “bum” from Minnesota to someday lead them to their first World Series in more than half a century but I think it has worked out quite well, if you ask the Red Sox Nation.