BOSTON -- With one swing, David Ortiz tied three Hall of Famers -- including fellow Red Sox legend Ted Williams -- with career homer No. 521 in Friday night's 8-4 loss to the Mariners at Fenway Park.
Ortiz launched a two-run shot to center field in the fourth inning against Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to move into a tie for 19th place on the all-time list. Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas also hit 521 home runs.
"It means a lot," said Ortiz. "Historically, all you guys know how great Mr. Ted Williams was. Like I always say, whenever they throw your name out there with those legendary [players], it kind of tells you what kind of career you've had through the years. It's not over."
To Ortiz, tying Williams for career homers was meaningful enough to collect the baseball for his personal collection.
"It's a good ball to keep, trust me," said Ortiz. "The gentleman who caught it, he was very generous and he wanted me to autograph a bat for him and I did."
The drive was projected by Statcast™ to land 400 feet away and had an exit velocity of 101 mph.
"With each game, with each home run, with each extra-base hit, he is seemingly climbing up not only the Red Sox ladder but the Major League Baseball history ladder," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We're watching not only an impressive year unfold with David, but it may turn out to be a historic one before it's all said and done."
Ortiz will have to hit 13 more home runs this season to tie another Hall of Famer who played for the Red Sox -- Jimmie Foxx -- for 18th all-time.
"It's wonderful," said Ortiz. "You're talking about some of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. Your name is being mentioned right next to them. It's all good."
Boston's Big Papi is having a prolific final season with the Red Sox at the age of 40. The slugger is hitting .344 with 29 doubles, 18 homers, 59 RBIs and a 1.147 OPS.
"He's putting the team on his back," said Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. "He's been definitely the best player on the team so far. He's been like that for years now."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.