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VIDEO: David Ortiz Cemented Status as Red Sox Legend Nine Years Ago Today

Tyler Maher
David Ortiz saved the Boston Red Sox on numerous occasions, especially in 2013.
David Ortiz saved the Boston Red Sox on numerous occasions, especially in 2013. / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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The 2013 ALCS did not get off to a good start for the Boston Red Sox. After getting shut out by the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park in Game 1, the Red Sox fell into a 5-1 hole against Max Scherzer in Game 2. With the series about to shift to Detroit and a tough Game 3 matchup against Justin Verlander looming, Boston's magical season appeared to be slipping away.

Nine years ago today, David Ortiz changed all that with one swing of the bat.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Ortiz turned on the first pitch he saw from Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit and smashed it deep to right fight. Torii Hunter -- one of the top defensive outfielders of his generation -- raced back to the wall. Fully extended, he leaped and tumbled into the bullpen, the ball soaring just over his outstretched glove.

Fenway Park, which had sat in stunned silence for much of the night, erupted with sheer joy. David Ortiz, already the hero and savior of numerous Red Sox games over the years, had rescued them once more.

With the game tied at 5-5, the Red Sox had new life. They won the game on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth (surprisingly not by Ortiz), evening the series at 1-1. They went on to win the ALCS and then the World Series, clinching a championship at home for the first time since 1918.

Without Ortiz's epic blast, however, none of that would have happened. His clutch home run on that chilly October night in Boston cemented his status as a Red Sox legend once and for all, paving the way for his eventual induction into Cooperstown as well.

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