David Ortiz has always been near the top of the Tater Trot Tracker leaderboard with his classic Papi trots. In 2010, he was the first player to break the 30-second barrier. Since then, he has dominated the “Slowest Trot” lists every year. Last year, for example, Ortiz had 7 of the 10 slowest trots of the year.
Despite all of that, the single slowest trot of the Tater Trot Tracker era (non-injury division) belongs to Bobby Abreu, who took 31.56 seconds to round the bases on his final career trot. And last year, a gimpy (but not “injured”) Todd Helton took the number two spot with his 31.54 second trot in May (number 3 was claimed by Miguel Cabrera in August). In fact, that 30.59 second trot on May 24, 2010, was the only time Ortiz beat the half-minute mark.
That is, until tonight. In the 8th inning of the Red Sox game against the Rangers, Big Papi skied a ball down the right field line, clear over Pesky’s Pole. Ortiz stood at the plate as he waited to see if the ball would land fair or foul before finally beginning his trot six seconds after making contact. From there, he trotted around the bases like normal. But when you’re David Ortiz and you’ve given yourself six seconds at the plate, trotting around “like normal” is going to end badly.
(Updated!) The trot officially clocked in at 33.39 seconds — nearly 2 full seconds slower than the previous slowest trot ever.
And that’s being generous! Because of the particular set-up of Fenway Park, there were no cameras to give a clear view of which foot touched home plate first. The 32.91 seconds assumes that Papi’s right foot is the one to reach the base first. (Note: The trot time has been updated to 33.39 seconds thanks to footage from a different angle. See this for proof.)
To be clear, this trot was not because Ortiz was showing up the Rangers (at least no more so than normal). It is very common for a player to watch a sky-high ball going down the line to see where it lands before he heads out on his trot. And this ball was tough to say either way — Texas manager Ron Washington actually challenged the fair/foul call because it was so tough to tell.
But all of that is immaterial to the Tater Trot Tracker. David Ortiz hit a home run and took 33.39 seconds to run it out. That’s a record.