On October 10, 2016, in the third game of the American League Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park, David Ortiz stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning with two out and a man on first, and the Red Sox trailing 4-2. Facing Indians reliever Cody Allen, Ortiz walked on four pitches and was later removed for a pinch runner. What people did not know at the time, with the game still in balance, is that Ortiz's plate appearance that inning was to be the final at bat of his illustrious career, as the Indians defeated the Red Sox 4-3 to complete the three-game sweep.
Offered here is the bat used by Ortiz during his final Major League at bat on October 10, 2016. Graded GU 10 by PSA. This is one of the most fully documented milestone bats we have ever seen. Not only has the bat been conclusively photo matched by PSA, but Ortiz himself has personally attested to its "final-hit" provenance by inscribing the barrel twice in silver paint pen. The first inscription reads "Final Postseason AB Walk vs. Allen Game Use 10/10/16." Below that he has further scripted "David Ortiz 2016 Final Season Big Papi." The bat is also accompanied by an affixed MLB authentication hologram label.
As noted in PSA's accompanying LOA, this is an outstanding Ortiz bat in all respects. The two-tone Marucci pro-model ("Papi 34 CC III") bat, which is not cracked, measures 34.5 inches in length and weighs 33.4 ounces. Outstanding use is displayed throughout, including several stitch impressions and ball marks (with silver ink transfers), cleat marks, the imprint made from a batting donut, a light application of pine tar, and Lizard Skin tape on the handle that extends 10" upward from the knob. Stamped on the knob are Ortiz's uniform number ("34"), the bat's date of manufacture ("09/08/16"), the bat's length ("4.5"), and its original factory weight ("2.0"). The presence of the silver ink transfers is especially important, because during the 2016 ALDS the balls were imprinted in silver ink rather than the normal blue ink used during the regular season. The conclusive photo match was made by a comparison of the unique array of markings shown on the lizard skin tape applied to the handle.
Prior to the 2016 season, Ortiz announced that it would be his final season, so his every game and at bat during the postseason took on added significance as the reality of his retirement set in. With the Red Sox trailing in the game and down two games to none in the best-of-five series, most fans in attendance at Fenway Park on October 10, 2016, hoped that Oriz's eighth-inning at bat wasn't the last time they would see "Big Papi" at the plate, but most were probably resigned to that fact. When Cody Allen closed out the ninth for Cleveland, giving them the series win, it also marked the end to one of the greatest careers in Boston Red Sox history.
Collectors today rarely have the opportunity to obtain historically significant game-used bats such as this, as they are often kept by the player and/or family, or oftentimes are immediately donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is the rare exception and the fact that it was used by one of the greatest and most popular players of the modern era, not to mention the newest member of the Hall of Fame, makes it even more appealing. The inscriptions by David Ortiz on the barrel were obtained under the auspices of Fanatics and the company's hologram label is affixed to the reverse of the barrel. The MLB label is affixed to the knob, and the PSA label is affixed to the handle. Full LOA from PSA, which includes a detailed photo match.