452 HRs vs. 453 HRs.
Both remain the face of the Red Sox franchise.
Both are left-handed hitters. Both dabbled in playing first base as a second job.
Both have a career .285 batting average.
David Ortiz hit his 452nd and 453rd career home runs Monday night. That pushed him past Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home run list.
Congrats to Ortiz.
But, Red Sox fans, what If you could only pick one, who would you rather have on your All-Time Red Sox team: Yaz or Big Papi?
(“Both” or “neither” doesn’t count for this exercise.)
Both have enjoyed their own presidential selfies (sort of).
The photo of Ortiz with President Obama came from this past April when the Red Sox visited the White House. It caused a stir when it was learned that Ortiz used the photo in part to promote the same company that made his smartphone. He was paid “100,000 chickens” for his efforts. (It’s a joke, folks, click on the link.)
The photo of Yaz with President Nixon has its own interesting backstory. Yaz was a part of Nixon’s “great silent majority” and a big fan of the 37th president. Nixon was in attendance at the 1970 All-Star Game in Cincinnati and Yaz was named MVP. Yaz said that he wanted to meet the president and give him his MVP award as a gift. Nixon and Yaz would meet at the White House on April 13, 1971.
As you can see, presidential smiles were not a big thing during the Nixon Administration.
So, Red Sox Nation, who you do you like?
The all-around great left fielder (and eventual first baseman/DH) who led the Red Sox resurgence in their 1967 Impossible Dream with a Triple Crown performance?
Or the big-time, power-hitting DH (and occasional first baseman) and all-time clutch superstar who hit .688 in the World Series to cap off Boston’s Improbable Dream 2013 championship season?
Nicotine or an undisclosed PED from a 2003 pilot-testing program before such PEDs were illegal in baseball?
No. 8 or No. 34.
Here’s a numerical side-by-side comparison of Ortiz and Yaz to help you decide. (Stats are through Monday and 1983, respectively.)
Going beyond the numbers, here's how they stack up elsewhere:
For Yaz, it was winning the A.L. pennant in 1967.
For Ortiz, it was winning the World Series in 2004.
Ortiz: Dunkin Donuts, Vitamin Water, Reebok, New Era, DISH (above).
Yaz: Yaz Bread, Yaz’s Kielbasa, Miller Beer (above).
Most Notable Outburst:
Yaz covers home plate with dirt back in 1975 after he was upset with a third-strike call by umpire Lou DiMuro:
Ortiz wrecks a dugout phone after he strikes out in Baltimore in 2013:
Yaz: "And if I have my choice between a pennant and a triple crown, I'll take the pennant every time."
Ortiz: "This is our f--king city."
Best Song About Him:
The "Yaz" song, courtesy of the late Jess Cain in 1967:
Moufy's ode to Boston and Ortiz (which also served as a plug for Popchips):
Of course, Ortiz has the edge with three World Series titles, and in not popping up to end the 1978 Yankees-Red Sox playoff game - or meekly flying out to center to end the 1975 World Series. But Yaz and the second-place (after Game 163) 1978 Red Sox won 99 games - which was more than their 2004, 2007 or 2013 counterparts.
The decision is yours, Boston.
The OBF column is written by award-winning journalist and Bay State native Bill Speros. Hit him up on his Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or at his
Obnoxious Boston Fan Email Address. Thanks always for reading.
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