There is a certain irony in David Ortiz last night breaking the record for most hits for a designated hitter and doing it in Seattle.
For one thing, Ortiz spent 1994-96 in the Seattle farm system before the Mariners traded Ortiz to the Minnesota Twins on Sept. 13, 1996, who in their infinite wisdom released him on December 16, 2002.
Then, of course, since 1973 the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award has been given each year first by the Associated Press, and then starting in 2000, by the Baseball Writers Association who in 2004 renamed it the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in honor of the Mariners great DH.
Last night, in the Red Sox 11-4 win over the Mariners, Big Papi had an early double for his 1,689th hit as a designated hitter to break his tie with Harold Baines for the all-time DH hit lead. He added his 19th homer of the season later in the game.
Ortiz now is the all-time DH leader in hits, runs scored, doubles, home runs, extra-base hits and RBI.
You have to wonder if Ortiz’ records will ever be broken as very few teams can afford to keep a full-time DH on their roster preferring to rotate players who can also field into that slot.
Only 2013 players with 90+% of their games as a DH
The first Designated Hitter Award in 1973 went to Orlando Cepeda of the Boston Red Sox. Harold Baines won it twice, Edgar Martinez won it five times, and Ortiz has won it six times.