The Yankees have had their fair share of rivalries over the years. But for as long as David Ortiz was a member of the Boston Red Sox, there was no denying the Yankees / Red Sox rivalry was one of the most entertaining rivalries in baseball. Over the years, the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry had died down after core members from past Red Sox and Yankees teams hung up their cleats and retired from the game. But the rivalry will once again change forever now that David Ortiz plans to retire at the end of the 2016 season.
Theres no denying Ortiz had huge hits against almost every team he’s played against, but the ones that have meant the most to Red Sox history came against the New York Yankees:
— The Game 4 2004 ALCS walk-off home run against the Yankees? David Ortiz.
— The Game 5 2005 ALCS game-winning walk-off single against the Yankees? David Ortiz.
— David Ortiz’s 495th career home run in his quest to 500? Came against the Yankees
Players like Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, J.D. Drew, Kevin Youkilis, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada are what helped fuel the Yankees / Red Sox rivalry. And with most of those players done with the game of baseball, the Yankees and Red Sox are going to need a new core of players to keep the rivalry going. The rivalry has been interesting over the years, which started when Kevin Youkilis left the Red Sox to play with the Yankees. And then there was Jacoby Ellsbury abandoning the Red Sox only to sign a seven-year contract to play for the Red Sox most hated rivals. And let’s not forget the Yankees and Red Sox actually making a trade where Stephen Drew came to play for the Bronx Bombers. But players abandoning ship to play a hated rival isn’t the same as doing damage in a game and frustrating millions of fans everywhere.
Ortiz is respected around baseball, but once he enters Yankee Stadium, he’s considered a menace for the duration of the series and is viewed as one of the rivalries biggest villains. However, that’s not going to stop the Yankees from honoring Ortiz before he rides off into the sunset. While Ortiz was a thorn in the side of many Yankees fans and players during the series, you can’t think about the Yankees / Red Sox rivalry and not think about Ortiz’s name. Then again, if you’re on the Red Sox side the same could be said about Jeter or even Rivera.
Ortiz’s power and passion during baseball’s most iconic rivalry will be missed–but Yankees fans would have to wait until after the 2016 season before they can truly appreciate it.