David Ortiz

When we look back on the career of Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, the first things most of us will think about are his many iconic moments: His walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, his game-winning single the next night, the grand slam he hit in the 2013 ALCS and, perhaps most importantly, his declaration to the Fenway Park fans after the Boston Marathon bombing that this was their bleeping city. These images will forever be a part of baseball lore, and Ortiz has cemented himself as one of the most memorable players of his generation.

Regardless of what he does this postseason, Big Papi will probably never be able to top those legendary performances. From a statistical standpoint, though, he’s saved his best for last.

Ortiz has posted his highest slugging percentage this season (.620) since 2007. He’s accumulated 5.0 Wins Above Replacement in 2016, also his most since 2007, and his 124 RBI are his most since 2006. We’re witnessing vintage Papi, and what he’s done at this age is beyond compare.

Thanks to visualizations from PointAfter, a sports data site powered by Graphiq, here are some tables demonstrating just how rare it is for a player of Ortiz’s age and experience to put up these types of numbers.

Ortiz leads the list of over-the-hill hitters with 37 home runs, and he’s one of only two 40-year-olds to top 30 dingers. Even with the recent spike in home runs league-wide, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a hitter in his 40s hit more long balls in a single season.

When it comes to going out on top, Ortiz is on the shortlist as one of the greatest final seasons in MLB history. He’s one of three hitters to post a 5-WAR season in his last hurrah, according to Baseball-Reference, placing him ahead of some of the game’s all-time greats.

Despite not topping the list, what Ortiz has done is arguably more impressive than what Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch accomplished in 1920. Both players were banned from baseball for life after the 1920 season for their roles in the infamous Black Sox scandal. Jackson was 32 at the time, while Felsch’s final season came at age 28, both in the their physical prime.

For hitters with as much mileage in the league as Ortiz, even fewer can match his output. Only Hank Aaron has hit more home runs in his 20th Major League season or later, bashing 40 in 1973. The names behind Ortiz on the list are among the greatest sluggers in baseball history, yet somehow Ortiz has been able to outlast them all.

Finally, when it comes to WAR for a player in his 20th season or later, Ortiz lands in the top 10 among some inner-circle Hall of Famers. He’s one of 10 hitters to post a 5-WAR season in his 20th year, an impressive feat considering how much designated hitters are docked for not contributing on defense.

Throughout his storied career, Ortiz has meant so much more to the game than simply his impressive stat sheet. He’ll be remembered most for coming through in big moments, but even without those signature highlights, the numbers speak for themselves: Big Papi was one of the most dominant hitters of his generation, and we’re unlikely to see another player quite like him for a long time.

Note: All stats are as of games played through Sept. 29.