In 1936, Jimmie Foxx broke Babe Ruth’s 1919 Red Sox club record of 29 home runs probably somewhere around August. He finished the season with 41 jacks, making him the first Red Sox slugger to hit 30 and 40 home runs.
Two years later, he blew that mark away, slamming 50 in a year in which he led the league in walks (119), batting average (.349), on-base percentage (.462), RBI (172), slugging percentage (.704) and total bases (398) — but not home runs. Hank Greenberg swatted 58.
For 68 years, no Red Sox slugger had really come close. Until David Americo Ortiz, who crushed two beautiful home runs into the Fenway night. Here are the runners-up:
1949: Ted Williams, 43
1963: Dick Stuart, 42
1967: Carl Yastrzemski, 44
1978: Jim Rice, 46
1984: Tony Armas, 43
1996: Mo Vaughn, 44
2001: Manny Ramirez, 41
2004: Manny Ramirez, 43, and David Ortiz, 41
2005: David Ortiz, 47, and Manny Ramirez, 45
Four of the players on that list are or are likely to be Hall of Famers — and none of them could do what Big Papi, perhaps the most beloved Sox slugger since Yaz himself, did tonight.
Congratulations to David Ortiz. May his name live on for decades to come.