The Red Sox championship tour isn’t over just yet, and World Series MVP David Ortiz stopped by Late Show with David Letterman on Monday to chat about his impressive postseason performance and how he almost didn’t end up playing baseball.
The Sox were not even close to being favored to win the 2013 World Series after a rough 2012 season where they lost 93 games and finished last in the AL East. Even without marquee names and overwhelming talent this spring, summer and fall, the Sox won it all.
“We have guys with a huge heart,” Ortiz said. “Guys that whenever you give them the opportunity to play, they’ll give you everything they have. Whenever you roll like that you’re definitely going to have things happening.”
The Sox weren’t without their struggles in the World Series, though. During Game 4 in St. Louis, Ortiz noticed that his team was off its game. The Sox were tied 1-1 with the Cardinals just before the sixth inning, and Big Papi was shown on the FOX cameras bringing the team together to give a pep talk in the dugout.
“I saw a couple players a little tight at the time and I basically let them know that you don’t come to the World Series every day,” Ortiz told host David Letterman. “This is a special moment and you want to give everything you have.”
As the longest-tenured member of the team, Ortiz certainly has the experience to drop knowledge, and his World Series performance spoke for itself. Ortiz finished the six-game series with a .688 batting average and a .760 on-base percentage — both second-best ever in a World Series.
Papi also dished on how he ended up getting into baseball — it was at his father’s suggestion — even though he wanted to play basketball. Check out the interview in the video below.