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Subscribe to USA TODAYAlready a print edition subscriber, but don't have a login?Activate your digital access.Manage your account settings.My AccountLog OutDavid Ortiz may head into retirement with the greatest season ever for a 40 year old player.(Photo: Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports)SAN FRANCISCO Boston Red Sox icon David Ortiz, waiting out traffic sitting in the cramped visiting clubhouse at AT Park, slowly furls his eyebrows, his dark brown eyes exuding concern."How long has he been like that?'' Ortiz softly says. "How long has he been in a wheelchair? What's wrong?''Ortiz is inquiring about San Francisco Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, 78, who has been confined to a wheelchair for about a decade, and came onto the field Tuesday night to help honor Ortiz in the latest farewell ceremony.It's McCovey's knees, Ortiz is told, that have left him Cheap Women Canada Goose Hybridge Lite Jacket White Nz unable to walk after at least 15 surgeries.Ortiz looks down, swallows, and says in almost a whisper, "Ah, that will catch up to me one day, too, bro.''Ortiz may be having the greatest season by a 40 year old in baseball history, and would be a solid American League MVP candidate if the season ended today. The nine time All Star DH is hitting .338 with 16 homers and leading the league with 25 doubles, 55 RBI, a .422 on base percentage and .728 slugging percentage.Yet, even in a farewell season that defies the norm, Ortiz is sure this will be it."A couple of years ago everyone kept asking, 'How much longer you going to play?''' Ortiz told USA TODAY Sports in a 30 minute interview. "And now, people see you doing your thing, and they're telling you, "Don't quit now. We would like to see you play for another year.' It's crazy."But right now, my mind is made up. Physically, I could do it, but mentally, I'm exhausted. Hopefully, everything keeps going well this year, because right now, everything is going perfect."I'm having so much fun, bro. I'm having as much fun as I've ever had in my life. I'm having so much fun that I actually can't believe I'm retiring this year, either.''USA TODAYSouthpaw showdown: David Price, Madison Bumgarner square offOrtiz breaks into that laugh, so infectious that it touches not only a clubhouse full of ballplayers, but the entire New England community. This is a man who was instrumental in ending the Red Sox's 86 year championship drought, bringing home three World Series titles since 2004, and who will be immortalized just like Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Bobby Orr and Tom Brady."I heard Reggie Jackson give advice to Pedro (Martinez) after that incident that happened between us and the Yankees,'' Ortiz said, recalling the 2003 brawl during the AL Championship Series. "Reggie was telling him, 'A Hall of Famer is not only supposed to be good on the field, but you need to carry yourself the right way off the field, too.' I'll always remember that."Everyone knows I've got good numbers on the field, but I think I have even better numbers off the field, because that's my personality. I love doing things right. I love making sure people have fun. I've always had that connection to people.''
Amid David Ortiz's MVP exit