When four of baseball’s greatest of all time get together, you expect many things to happen, but as usual, DIRECTV throws us for a loop in the latest spot. Rather than hitting dingers and throwing heat, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson are battling a different kind “foul ball.” As the newest spokesmen, these four retired athletes are not just some of MLB’s finest, they are now forever known as the GOATbusters. Let’s meet them and reminisce on what made them so great.
Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod)
Alex Rodriguez, more affectionately known as A-Rod, isn’t just a beloved and accomplished ballplayer, he’s also a philanthropist, businessman, author and father.
During his 22 seasons in the MLB, the 14-time All-Star and three-time American League MVP collected quite a few awards, including two Gold Glove Awards, 10 Silver Slugger Awards, a Hank Aaron Award and so much more. Although Alex Rodriguez and Yankees may be synonymous, he also played for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers.
As a businessman, A-Rod has crossed over into basketball as one of the owners of NBA team Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. He is also a co-author of two children’s books, Out of the Ballpark, and Hit a Grand Slam, all while being a doting dad to his daughters Natasha and Ella.
“Anyone can forget about talent, but if you’re a good person, your name will be remembered a long time.” – Alex Rodriguez
Born: July 27, 1975 in New York, New York
Positions: Shortstop and third base
MLB Debut: July 8, 1994
Final Game: August 12, 2016
MLB Seasons: 22
Career Batting Average: .295
Home Runs: 696
Runs Batting In (RBIs): 2,086
David Ortiz, or Big Papi has had quite the career, which was punctuated by his election into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. Although he retired in 2016, he is still a fixture in the game as a MLB studio analyst for FOX Sports.
In his 20 seasons in the MLB, he played six with the Minnesota Twins and 14 with the Boston Red Sox, earning three World Series rings with the Sox in 2004, 2007 and 2013; the first breaking the 86-year drought and the last earning him a Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player Award. Big Papi is also a 10-time All-Star and a seven-time Silver Slugger.
Ortiz gives back to his communities of New England and the Dominican Republic with his foundation, David Ortiz Children’s Fund which provides critical cardiac support to children in need. He is a proud father of three and has lived quite the life, as can be gleaned from his podcast on the subject, The Big Papi Story.
“I guess I’m the last dinosaur.” – Big Papi
Big Papi Stats
Born: November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Positions: Designated Hitter and First Base
MLB Debut: September 2, 1997
Final Game: November 15, 2016
MLB Seasons: 20
- Minnesota Twins (1997-2002)
- Boston Red Sox (2003-2016)
Career Batting Average: .286
Home Runs: 541
Runs Batting In (RBIs): 1,768
Ken Griffey Jr.
Ken Griffey Jr., often called The Kid or your favorite baseball player’s favorite baseball player, is one of the most recognizable names in the game of modern history.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Ken Griffey Sr., Griffey spent 22 years in the MLB, most as a centerfielder for the Seattle Mariners, but also did brief stints with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox. He’s a 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
After a prolific and successful baseball career, Griffey joined the Mariners front office as a special consultant, is a senior advisor to the MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred and joined the ownership group for the Seattle Mariners in 2021. He is also in the ownership group of the Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer team. The Kid has three kids of his own, Trey, Taryn and Tevin. Trey a former NFL player.
“As long as I have fun playing, the stats will take care of themselves.” – Ken Griffey Jr.
The Kid Stats
Born: November 21, 1969 in Donora, Pennsylvania
MLB Debut: April 3, 1989
Final Game: May 31, 2010
MLB Seasons: 22
- Seattle Mariners (1989–1999)
- Cincinnati Reds (2000–2008)
- Chicago White Sox (2008)
- Seattle Mariners (2009–2010)
Career Batting Average: .284
Home Runs: 630
Runs Batting In (RBIs): 1,836
Randy Johnson aka Big Unit is touted as one of the greatest pitchers of all time. But it’s not just his towering stature (he’s 6’10’’) that made him a legend on the mound. It was his 102 mile per hour fast ball, signature slider and memorable almost-side arm that made batters shake at the plate.
In his 22 seasons with the MLB he moved around quite a bit. He started with the Montreal Expos, spent nine seasons with the Seattle Mariners, did six off and on with the Arizona Diamondbacks and a few scattered seasons with the Astros, Yankees and Giants. In that time he became a 10-time All-Star, won five Cy Young Awards, was named World Series MVP in 2001, earned Triple Crown in 2002, pitched a no-hitter in 1990 and a phenomenal perfect game in 2004 (there has only been 23 in recorded history). Johnson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Arizona Diamondback retired his number – 51.
After retiring, the father of five took up acting and photography.
“When you win, you want more of it. You can’t win enough.” – Randy Johnson
Big Unit Stats
Born: September 10, 1963 in Walnut Creek, California
MLB Debut: September 15, 1988
Final Game: October 4, 2009
- Montreal Expos (1988–1989)
- Seattle Mariners (1989–1998)
- Houston Astros (1998)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (1999–2004)
- New York Yankees (2005–2006)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (2007–2008)
- San Francisco Giants (2009)
Earned run average (ERA): 3.29
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What happens when Big Unit, Big Papi, The Kid and A-Rod walk onto a field? Hilarity ensues. Read the USA Today article.
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