Prior to David Oritz’s final series in front of the New York Yankees’ crowd, he put together a “thank you” letter to the fans that have despised him for years.
The retiring slugger started the letter by addressing the planned “mooning” that a website has organized.
“Let me tell you something. If 50,000 people moon me, I promise you two things,” Ortiz wrote in the Tribune. “First, I’m gonna laugh so hard I might start crying. Then when the tears dry, I’m gonna step up to the plate and try to hit the ball all the way to the choo choo train.”
Then, the letter to his rival’s fans got more serious. As the 40-year old discussed how his rivalry with Yankees shaped the unique ballplayer he became.
“Our rivalry with the Yankees made me who I am. The intensity of that competition is what I’m gonna miss the most when I’m done. I could wake up in the morning and my body could be feeling like sh-t, but as soon as the bus pulls up to Yankee Stadium and I see that white fence on the upper deck, I’m like, It’s on. Me, Manny and Pedro used to sit in the dugout watching the Yankees’ pitchers warming up, and we’d say to each other, ‘Alright, how we gonna take these mother f**kers down today?'” -David Ortiz via the Player’s Tribune.
Very few ballplayers have matched the success that Ortiz has had against New York.
In 240 career games against them, he has maintained an overall slash line of .307/.397/.574 including an OPS of .970.
Oritz also smacked 53 home runs and drove in 171 runs. It’s safe to say that the Yankees will not miss facing him almost 20 times a year.
Additionally, it’s also safe to presume that fans that have booed him on numerous occasions may not respond with a “you’re welcome.”
Perhaps maybe a mix of additional boos and maybe even a follow through of the “mooning” will take place when Ortiz steps up to the plate in New York for the final time.
Christian Kouroupakis covers the New York Yankees for ESNY. Interact with him and view his daily work by “liking” his facebook page and follow him on Twitter. All statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Don’t hesitate to shoot him an email with any questions, criticisms, or concerns.