David Ortiz nicknamed “Big Papi”, is a retired Dominican American professional baseball designated hitter (DH) and occasional first baseman who played 20 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons, primarily with the Boston Red Sox.
Let’s see some fun facts about him!
1. David Américo Ortiz Arias was born November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
2. He is as the oldest of four children of Enrique (Leo) Ortiz and Angela Rosa Arias.
3. As a boy, he followed the careers of standout pitcher Ramon Martinez and his younger brother Pedro, attending games whenever he could and building a friendship with Pedro that would only grow over the years.
4. He graduated from Estudia Espaillat High School in the Dominican Republic, and was a standout baseball and basketball player there.
5. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he was a ten-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and seven-time Silver Slugger winner.
6. Ortiz also holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, which he set during the 2006 season.
7, Originally signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1992, Ortiz was traded to the Minnesota Twins in 1996, where he played six seasons.
8. Ortiz was released by the Twins and signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2003, where he spent the remainder of his career.
9. In Boston, Ortiz established himself as one of the most powerful sluggers of all time.
10. He was instrumental in the team ending its 86-year World Series championship drought in 2004, as well as during successful championship runs in 2007 and 2013. Ortiz was also the MVP of the 2013 World Series.
11. Ortiz finished his career with 541 home runs, which ranks 17th on the MLB all-time home run list, 1,768 RBIs (22nd all-time) and a .286 batting average.
12. Among designated hitters, he is the all-time leader in MLB history for home runs (485), runs batted in (RBIs) (1,569), and hits (2,192).
13. Regarded as one of the best clutch hitters of all time, Ortiz had 11 career walk-off home runs during the regular season and 2 during the postseason.
14. Each time Ortiz crosses the plate after hitting a home run, he looks up and points both index fingers to the sky in tribute to his mother, Angela Rosa Arias, who died in a car crash in January 2002 at the age of 46.
15. Ortiz also has a tattoo of his mother on his biceps.
16. Ortiz’s nickname “Big Papi” originates from his habit of calling people whose names he can’t remember “Papi”. The nickname was given to him by Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy.
17. Ortiz and his wife, Tiffany, have three children. Since marrying Tiffany, he has become a fan of the Green Bay Packers. (His wife hails from Kaukauna, Wisconsin, a town in between the cities of Green Bay and Appleton).
18. In April 2013, Ortiz announced that he and his wife were separating, but they later reconciled.
19. On June 11, 2008, Ortiz became a United States citizen at John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
20. Ortiz has received about $4.5 million in endorsements over the years.
21. In April 2007, sporting-goods company Reebok debuted the Big Papi 10M Mid Baseball cleat, which Ortiz first used during the 2007 MLB All Star Game in San Francisco, California.
22. In October 2009, Ortiz opened a night club called “Forty-Forty” in his native Dominican Republic. In April 2010, rapper and producer Jay-Z and his business partner Juan Perez sued Ortiz for trademark infringement, alleging that the name of Ortiz’s night club was stolen from Jay-Z’s chain of sports clubs in New York.
23. In March 2011, Ortiz reached a settlement deal with Jay-Z and Perez.
24. Ortiz’s daughter, Alex Ortiz, sang the national anthem before the 2016 Boston Red Sox home opener on April 11, 2016.
25. On May 21, 2017, Ortiz received an honorary degree at a Boston University commencement.
26. In 2007, Ortiz founded the David Ortiz Children’s Fund to support a range of his favorite causes and help children, from Boston to the Dominican Republic and beyond.
27. In 2008, Ortiz released his own Charity Wine label, called Vintage Papi, which raised $150,000 for the David Ortiz Children’s Fund.
28. Additionally, Ortiz recently joined UNICEF Kid Power as a brand ambassador Kid Power Champion for a global mission in Burkina.