Ortiz achieved the milestone just shy of his 40th birthday, which falls on Nov. 18. The only players to hit their 500th home run at the age of 40 or older are Williams, Gary Sheffield, Willie McCovey and Eddie Murray.
Among Ortiz’s 500 homers, 444 have come as a designated hitter, the most in MLB history at the position. He also has 53 as a first baseman and three as a pinch hitter.
During his 19-year career, Ortiz has cemented a path to the Hall of Fame despite his DH duties. He has had nine seasons with 30 or more homers, including three with 40-plus and one 50-homer campaign when he belted a Red Sox single-season record 54 homers in 2006.
Besides holding the mark for most lifetime homers for a DH, he also is the record-holder for most hits (2,009), runs (1,169), doubles (503), RBI (1,430), extra-base hits (964) and walks (1,082) in his role as designated hitter.
Ortiz is a nine-time All-Star who has finished in the top five in voting for the A.L. Most Valuable Player award, including a second-place finish in 2006 when he led the A.L. with 148 RBI while clubbing 47 homers and batting .300 with a .397 on-base percentage.
The left-handed swinger helped guide the Red Sox to three World Series titles and captured MVP honors in the 2013 Fall Classic when he batted .688 in the six-game match against the St. Louis Cardinals, with 11 hits — including two doubles and two homers — and eight walks.
Ortiz has fashioned himself as one of the most feared hitters in the game, especially in clutch situations. He documented his name in Red Sox lore with walk-off hits in consecutive League Championship Games against the Yankees in 2004, allowing Boston to overcome a three games to nothing deficit to win the A.L. pennant and the first World Series in Boston since 1918.
He has victimized 335 different pitchers for his career home run total and has 11 walk-off blasts, 45 game-tying clouts and 173 that put his club in the lead. Ortiz has also banged out 50 multi-homer games, 150 two-run homers, 61 three-run blasts, 11 grand slams and 288 solo shots.
His resume speaks volumes and he certainly ranks among the best hitters of his generation. When Big Papi retires, he should become a first-ballot Hall of Famer five years after he stops damaging big league pitching.