9/12/2013 11:55 P.M. ET
Papi's homer extends BTS leader's mark to 41
By Zachary Finkelstein / MLB.com
The Red Sox are all but assured to win the American League East in 2013, a special feat not just for the team, but for a city where baseball love is ubiquitous and a region that treats its club's 25-man roster like a pack of prodigal sons.
The 2013 Red Sox have succeeded for many reasons, none of them greater than the bat of David Ortiz. The man has been mashing ever since his induction into Red Sox Nation, becoming the game's designated-hitter nonpareil during that time.
Big Papi has once again posted impressive stats this season and, along the way, he's risen in baseball's record books, becoming the all-time hits king among DHs and tallying the 2,000th base knock of his career.
Although many of Ortiz's hits have been memorable, his biggest one for Camille Emily Svendson -- the current Beat the Streak leader with 41 straight successful selections -- came Thursday night courtesy of a home run to lead off the sixth.
"[He's] Big Papi, enough said," remarked Svendson after her remarkable run was extended by one.
Svendson, a 23-year-old from Fort Collins, Colo., is 71.9 percent of the way to the BTS $5.6 million grand prize, the biggest of its kind in fantasy-sports history.
In going with Ortiz against the rival Rays, Svendson presciently predicted that the slugger would continue his longstanding trend of success against Tampa Bay right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. In 22 career at-bats against the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year entering Thursday, Ortiz had a terrific slash line of .364/.500/.773.
"It's amazing! I still am in disbelief that I've gotten this far," said the Colorado State University student.
What is Club 40, you ask? It's a major milestone for BTS participants.
Joining Club 40 is a great distinction. It's an accolade, a point about which to brag and boast to your friends. But most important, it's a sign that you're more than 70 percent of the way to being set for the rest of your years. And those in the BTS community have been getting better and better at chasing all that fame and fortune.
Prior to 2013, Club 40 had admitted 32 members across its first 13 years of existence. That's an average of two to three entrants per year. But this season, a whopping 11 have been inducted into the impressive group.
Svendson has ascended up the BTS ladder with help from her baseball acumen and a bit of statistical analysis.
"I pay more attention to the batter's hitting streak vs. the pitcher rather than on the year," Svendson said.
"I also go with my gut. My feelings always are right. [Additionally], I use the double down, but only if I'm 100 percent sure it'll work."
The double down feature allows Streakers to select two players on the same day. If both batters record at least one hit, the Streaker's run advances by two games. But if either player goes hitless, the streak drops back to zero.
Now 16 picks shy of the apex of the BTS mountain, Svendson has begun to dream of a world with a lot more money.
"Half [would go] to charity," she said.
"I [would also buy] my dad a brand-new truck, [I would pay] off my student loans, and the rest [would go] into savings!"
Svendson has not been alone in her pursuit of a lifetime's worth of fame and fortune. In fact, she has received a great deal of support from her friends and family.
"They're excited, but I've asked them not to talk about it because I'm scared they'll jinx me. I'm very superstitious," she said.
In Beat the Streak, participants try to establish a virtual "hitting streak" by picking one or two big leaguers per day, with their runs continuing as long as their selections collect at least one hit. In 13-plus seasons of BTS play, no one has matched Joe DiMaggio's magic number of 56, set in 1941. To win the $5.6 million prize, one must top Joe D.'s run by one.
To join the fun, visit mlb.com/bts or download Beat the Streak, presented by Dunkin' Donuts, from the Apple app store or through Google Play. Participation is free.
Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.