In his 20th Major League season, David Ortiz is slashing .313/.400/.628 with 25 home runs and identical 12.9% walk and strikeout rates. He is a top five hitter in all of baseball and has been worth 3.0 WAR this season, despite never stepping foot on the field.
He is also retiring at the end of this season.
Indeed, David Ortiz is retiring at the end of the 2016 season, at the age of 40, after 20 long, productive years in the Major Leagues. So, as Ortiz makes his way through various parks for the last time as a player, teams have been honoring him in their own, special way. “Retirement Tours,” they’re called. Usually, the gifts for these retirement tours include pieces of the dugout, a base, a mound; you know, something unique to the stadium that Ortiz can take with him and keep forever.
The Seattle Mariners, on the other hand, gave him something different, something weirder. After first having Edgar Martinez present a framed version of David Ortiz’s first professional baseball contract (that was nice), they decided to send Ortiz (who wears number 34) home with 34 pounds of Northwest King Salmon:
I … wha … why?
But the gifts didn’t stop there, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Felix Hernandez also presented Ortiz with a very nice watch (oh, that was nice) and a crazy painting of himself, after donning him with a clock-chain, glasses and a hat.
Quitting while they’re ahead, apparently, is not something the Mariners intend to do.