By that point, even the Cardinals were members of the Big Papi fan club.
Ortiz walked off as the MVP after Boston won 6-1 Wednesday night in Game 6, capping a week in which he spurred the Red Sox with a mix of power, patience and a most timely pep talk.
“I know I’m one of the forces for this ballgame and I like to take things personal,” he said. “And that’s been my whole career, a challenge.”
“I wasn’t trying to be the guy, but I know I got to get something done to keep the line moving,” he said. “I don’t even have to do anything today, I guess, the rest of the team took over.”
Overall, Ortiz piled up totals that not even slow-pitch softball players dream about: He reached base a whopping 19 times in 25 plate appearances.
“Hey, let me tell you,” he said. “I was hitting well, but it wasn’t like I was hitting pitches right down the middle of the plate. They were trying their best to get me out.”
When the game ended, Ortiz hoisted reliever Koji Uehara over his shoulder. He then raised the gleaming gold trophy with one hand, the crowning achievement of his career.
Now a three-time champion, Ortiz is the last link to the Red Sox team that swept the Cardinals in 2004 and ended an 86-year title drought.
The sellout crowd broke into thunderous chants of “MVP! MVP!” each time Ortiz batted. Quite a turnaround for the 37-year-old slugger who badly slumped in the AL championship series.
Ortiz hit 11 for 16 (.688) with two home runs and six RBIs against the Cardinals, and just missed a grand slam when Carlos Beltran robbed him by reaching over the short bullpen wall.
Asked to describe Ortiz, manager John Farrell paused.
“Well, I’d probably rather let his bat do the talking, because it’s pretty special,” he said.
Ortiz also drew eight walks and legged out a few infield hits, helped by St. Louis second baseman Matt Carpenter playing way out in shallow right field. At one point, Ortiz tied a Series record by reaching base in nine straight trips.