So, while most of us marvel at David Ortiz's remarkable start, especially since he missed all of spring training, and one columnist (Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe) confronted him about steroid suspicions, a couple of stories for a little historical perspective. In 1954, Ted Williams fractured his collarbone on the first day of spring training and missed all of camp. He made his first appearance in the Sox lineup as a substitute on May 15, and the next day made his first starts, in a doubleheader at Detroit. Williams went 8-for-9 in the two games, with two home runs and seven RBIs. Through his first 15 games, Williams, who was 35 at the time, hit .426 (20-for-47), had an OPS of 1.336, and hit four home runs. Impressed? The year before, Williams was flying missions over Korea and returned to the Red Sox in August. This, after missing all but six games in 1952 while he was at war. He practiced 10 days, then hit a home run in the eighth inning in his first game back. For the rest of the 1953 season, Williams batted .407 (37-for-91) with 13 home runs, 34 RBIs and an OPS of 1.410. One other story. In 1938, Joe DiMaggio held out from spring training in a contract dispute. The Yankees offered him $25,000. He wanted $40,000. He missed all of camp, but in his first 15 games he hit .390 with six home runs and 13 RBIs. Take the stories for what they're worth. Clearly we are referencing more innocent times, but in the case of at least two Hall of Famers, missing spring training and hitting at a phenomenal rate at the start of the season are not mutually exclusive events.
Papi's performance speaks for itself
ESPN | May 8