This post has been updated here.
David Ortiz is the greatest Designated Hitter of all-time. He’s the all-time leader at the position in home runs, RBI, extra base hits, and runs scored (no easy way to figure that out but I took a look at the other contenders–Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, Harold Baines, Paul Molitor–and none of them seemed to stack up when you count only at-bats as a DH). If there is any argument for Martinez, who is probably the most deserving (since Thomas did a lot of his damage as a first basemen), it is that Martinez performed very well in the playoffs, carrying the Mariners to victory with 10 RBI in the 5-game 1995 ALDS vs. the Yankees.
Ortiz carried the Red Sox back from the dead in the 2004 ALCS vs. the Yankees, after clinching the division series with a walk-off homerun off Jarrod Washburn of the Angels. After a 19-8 shellacking in game 3, Ortiz delivered a walk-off HR in the 12th inning of game 4, sparking the comeback of all comebacks. Sixteen hours after that game-ending 400 footer to right, Ortiz hit another home run off Tom Gordon in the 8th inning to cut the Yankee lead to one in game 5. Then ended that game with a single in the bottom of the 14th, to make the series 3-2. In game 7, Ortiz homered to give the Sox the early 2-0 lead, one they would never relinquish, capping one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.
Ortiz’ MVP performance (the only DH to win that award in a championship series) in that series is one of the greatest clutch performances we’ve seen. For an encore in 2007, the Red Sox most recent championship, Ortiz hit .370 in the playoffs and drove in 10 runs, four in a sweep of Colorado in the World Series.
According to one source, David Ortiz wears custom Easton VRS III batting gloves (above). However, from what we found in our research, we contend that the gloves are SV12 (feature picture). They share the same pattern as the VRSIII (just without the shock resistance element on the palm, which Ortiz did not seem to have), and the SV12 gloves are much easier to find online, which may mean that the VRS III’s are discontinued. Ortiz’ colorways are completely custom and impossible to replicate, but the glove is the same. Matt Kemp gave us the same trouble with Easton.
Ortiz’ cleats are the Reebok Vector U-Form 2m2 with a custom red/white/black colorway (in low quality above)—although Reebok looks like it discontinued that model, Better Baseball looks like they have an all black pair online. The cleats we’ve seen him wearing most recently, which are new for 2012 and available online, are the Reebok Pro Cooperstown model (link below). He wears those in white with red, and a little black on the sole.
Not surprisingly, Ortiz has been clubbing baseballs with Marucci for the last few years. His model, DO34, is not available online.
What we can figure out from these images is that it is most likely maple (based on the “M”), and it is a 34.5/32.2 (not so sure about the .2 but maybe that’s how precise these Marucci woodworkers are—it wouldn’t surprise us.
We also have noticed Ortiz wearing black Phiten XTB1 Titanium Power Sleeves on both arms.
Finally, Ortiz’ sunglasses, which you’ll see him wear a lot of, are Oakley Radar. UPDATE 4/3/2012: We had a hard time figuring out the lens shape (the choices are Path, Pitch and Range), and we’ve finally figured out that the “vented” Range lens is Ortiz’ (see picture below). There is also a hole in the temple area of the Radar style that is not seen in Ortiz’ version—however, everything else is exactly the same—we don’t really know why that is.
We saw him late in the 2011 season wearing both red with Positive Red Iridium frames and black with grey frames (above). You can find the black at several online shops, but you can only build the reds on Oakley’s custom builder (for $40 more).
Here are the links:
Oakley Radar Range (black) (these are not vented, you’ll need to customize the black style if you want vented)
Oakley Custom Builder (for the red Radar and vented black)
Marucci 34 inch Maple (there are plenty of pro models available, including Utley and Pujols)
Reebok Vector U-Form 2m2 Cleat (only available in black)
Reebok Pro Cooperstown (cleats we’ve seen Papi rocking in Spring Training)
Phiten XTB1 Titanium Power Sleeve (Ortiz’ is black)