In the 10 days leading up to the 2011 MLB All-Star Game in Arizona, we will be counting down the top Red Sox-related moments in All-Star history. Today we bring you the first in that series, with a look at an event that we can all remember.
Despite yet another slow start in April of 2010, David Ortiz turned things up and hit well enough in May and June to make his sixth All-Star team, and first since 2008. For the fourth time, Ortiz joined in on the Home Run Derby festivities that preceded the All-Star game itself. He had hit 36 homers combined in those other four attempts, not nearly enough to be the winner in any of those, but this time would be a bit different.
David Ortiz hit 32 homers in the 2010 Home Run Derby alone, and did so accompanied by a chorus of boos from hometown Anaheim fans that still remember Papi's many big hits and homers against them in playoff games over the years.
It turned out to be a Red Sox-themed derby where Ortiz got to hit off of former Boston backstop Tony Pena, and faced off against former Red Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez in the finals. Ortiz's eight homers in the first round got him into the second, where he blasted 13 more bombs for an impressive 21 overall. His opponent in the finals, Ramirez, had 21 homers as well through the first two rounds, even though he isn't know for his power the same way that Big Papi is. Ramirez hit just five homers in his last shot at sending them deep, but Ortiz didn't tire the same way, countering those five with another 11 -- including four in a row on his first four swings -- to give him 32 overall, the same total he would end up finishing the season with.
While the Home Run Derby is mostly for bragging rights among players, Ortiz now has plenty to boast about because of his showing in 2010. He jumped his career total from the aforementioned 36 to 68, putting him just two shy of Ken Griffey Jr.'s all-time career mark in the derby -- given his power hasn't slowed one bit since 2010, and he was able to put 32 balls over the fence then, he should be able to hit at least three more to give him the ultimate derby bragging rights this summer. He was just the second player ever to hit double-digits in the final round, too, so give the man credit: this was an impressive Home Run Derby performance, and easily one of Boston's most memorable All-Star game moments.