David Ortiz sets the record for home runs by a player 40 or older
David Ortiz’s season has been so good that, mentally speaking, I’ve just been thinking of it as regular old in his prime Ortiz and not so much as 40-year-old, just a few weeks from retirement Ortiz. By not mentally adjusting for his age, I think I’ve been underrating his season. Because, for a 40-year-old, he’s breaking the model for performance, more or less.
The latest evidence of this: the fact that he broke the record for home runs in a season by a 40-year-old or older player. He hit his 35th in yesterday’s game against the O’s, which passes Darrell Evans’ 34, hit as a 40-year-old for the Detroit Tigers in 1987. If you’re curious, Barry Bonds didn’t break 30 in either of his last two seasons. In his 40-year-old season he hit only five due to injury.
On the year, Ortiz is hitting .317/.403/.630 with 35 homers and 118 RBI. That leads the league in slugging percentage and his 1.034 OPS leads the league as well. He’ll probably be a top 3 or top 5 MVP finisher as well.
And then he’ll retire.