Photo: AP Images
As the Boston Red Sox celebrated an eighth World Series title on the field at Fenway Park last October, slugger David Ortiz was asked what it meant to win his third world championship.
“That means I’m getting old,” he replied.
As Big Papi showed during last year’s title run, he still possesses the power and clutch-hitting ability that he did in the prime of his career.
Ortiz was named World Series MVP after batting a remarkable .688 (11-for-16) with two homers, six RBIs and eight walks in 25 plate appearances. The .688 average is tops among World Series MVPs dating back to 1955.
By comparison, Ortiz’s 2013 post-season numbers were right in line with his production during the Red Sox title runs of 2004 and 2007.
How has Ortiz sustained this elite level of performance throughout his 17 years in the big leagues?
“I learned how to start training my body from the inside to the outside,” Ortiz said in an interview with the Boston Globe.
Ortiz says his workouts are now focused on strengthening the smaller stabilizing muscles in his body, and that he’s doing “a lot of core work.”
Most importantly, Ortiz explains, he’s simply keeping up with the training year-round.
He says, “My mind tells me if I don’t go and do my lifting, you’re not going to be able to keep up with your baseball. I got my body used to coming to the field every day and going to the gym.”
After a slow start to the 2014 season, Ortiz is on pace to hit 40 home runs—the most since his career-high 54 during the 2006 season—and draw more than 100 walks for the first time since 2007.
And if the Red Sox clinch a post-season berth, you can bet that Big Papi will be primed for another monster performance.