Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz will probably never forget this Fourth of July…
The 36-year-old Dominican-born baseball player recorded his 400th career home run during the Red Sox’s away game against the Oakland Athletics.
Ortiz is the 49th player in major league history to reach 400 home runs. He’s among eight active players with at least 400 homers.
Ortiz’s home run forged a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning, but Oakland went on to win the game 3-2 to complete a three-game series sweep of the Red Sox.
“It was a big situation to tie the game,” said Ortiz. “I’m happy to just get it out of the way. I was very excited.”
The biggest compliment Ortiz received for his 400th career home run might have come during the slugger’s next at-bat. As Athletics announcer Dick Callahan mentioned Ortiz’s milestone while introducing him in the sixth inning Wednesday, the home crowd rose to give him a standing ovation.
“That was pretty cool,” said Ortiz, who removed his helmet and waved to the crowd. “You’re playing on the road, and you get something like that done on the road and people really appreciate it.”
Ortiz had gone 25 at-bats since his last homer, which came June 27 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
“(I’ve) been able to take a lot of swings this past road trip and just keep on leaving the ball on the warning track,” said Ortiz. “But to be honest with you, I was not worried about that. I was just swinging like I normally do and not trying to do too much. You see pitchers, how they approach it, I guess they don’t want to show up on ESPN.”
The blast, a no-doubter to right field, came on a 2-0 pitch from Oakland’s A.J. Griffin.
“It was awesome,” Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross said. “Of course, everyone’s just waiting for it. It seems like every pitch, he’s got that chance to do it. As soon as it went in the air, it’s just that sigh of relief, I know for him especially, to get that weight off his shoulder. I’m just so happy for him, proud of him. It’s a huge accomplishment.”