David Ortiz is returning to the All-Star Game, selected for the first time since 2013 and his 10th overall. He’s having a career season for the Boston Red Sox and is showcasing some of the best power numbers in baseball.
Ortiz currently leads baseball in slugging percentage, OPS and extra-base hits and is showing no sign of slowing down at the age of 40.
Ortiz is by far the oldest starter voted into the All-Star Game this year. The next oldest starter is Ben Zobrist (35), who will start for the National League at second base. The average age of the rest of the American League starters is 24.8 years old; Ortiz is 14 years older than the next-oldest starters in the AL.
The eight AL starting position players have a combined 562 career home runs to their names; Ortiz has 525.
Ortiz in excellent company
Ortiz will be making his seventh All-Star Game start, one of four Red Sox players to do so. The only Red Sox player with more is Hall of Famer Ted Williams with 12. The other three, Williams, Wade Boggs and Carl Yastrzemski, have all had their number retired by the Red Sox.
Ortiz’s home run Sunday was his major-league-leading 57th extra-base hit this season. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Ortiz is by far the oldest player to lead the majors in that category at the All-Star break.
Barry Bonds (2001 Giants) and Stan Musial (1957 Cardinals) were 36 years old at the time they accomplished the feat.
Memorable All-Star moments
- First hit: In his second plate appearance of the 2004 game, Ortiz crushed a two-run home run off Carl Pavano, scoring Vladimir Guerrero. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Ortiz is one of 16 players to hit a home run in their first official All-Star Game at-bat. The other Red Sox hitter on that list is J.D. Drew, in 2008.
- First multi-hit game: Ortiz returned to the All-Star Game the next season as the top vote-getter in baseball. He followed that up by collecting two hits, the only time in his career he’s had multiple hits in an All-Star Game.
- Home Run Derby champion: In 2010, Ortiz made his sixth All-Star appearance and was selected to compete in his fourth Home Run Derby. He led the field with 32 home runs over the course of the event at Angel Stadium, including 11 in the final against current teammate Hanley Ramirez.