When I came to this city, I didn’t know if I had a future. Now I have a home.
Former Red Sox first baseman and designated hitter David Ortiz retired following the 2016 season as one of the greatest hitters of his era. In 19 MLB seasons, he batted .286 with a .380 on-base percentage, had a slugging percentage of .552, was a 10-time All-Star and led Boston to three World Series championships. He is among baseball’s all-time leaders in extra-base hits (1,192), home runs (541) and RBIs (1,768). Playing as a DH in his final season at the age of 40, Ortiz put up arguably the finest offensive numbers of his career, leading the American League in doubles (48), RBIs (127), slugging percentage (.620) and OPS (1.021). Born in the Dominican Republic in 1975, Ortiz was the oldest of four children. He played basketball and baseball at Estudia Espaillat High, and signed with the Seattle Mariners in 1992, 10 days after his 17th birthday. He made his professional debut two years later in the Arizona League. In 1996, he played for Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Mariner’s Class A affiliate. While playing in Wisconsin, he became a fan of the Green Bay Packers. Seattle traded him to the Minnesota Twins later that year. Ortiz made his MLB debut with the Twins in September 1997. He played parts of the next five seasons in Minnesota, but never really caught on with the club, which released him in 2002. A month later, he signed a free-agent deal with the Red Sox, and after a breakout 2003 season he finished fifth in the voting for AL MVP. Nicknamed “Big Papi,” Ortiz was a key member of the 2004 team that ended Boston’s 86-year run of World Series futility. He also led the team to championships in 2007 and 2013. Regarded as one of the greatest clutch hitters in baseball history, Ortiz hit 13 walk-off home runs in his career, including two in the postseason. He was named the MVP of the 2013 World Series. The Red Sox retired his uniform number 34 in 2017, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2022, his first year of eligibility.
I have stepped up to the plate more than 9,000 times in my career. In my mind, you know how many hits I thought I was gonna get? More than 9,000.
Some players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.
David Ortiz showing some fatherly love. He shares his goal of giving his own children what his father has given him.
David Ortiz speaks for all of us when he addresses the city in its most trying moment, following the Boston Marathon Bombing.
David Ortiz: The Big Papi Story is the most comprehensive chronicle to date of the life of Red Sox icon and three-time World Series champion David Ortiz.
The Sox finally stand up to the bullies, "The Curse" is broken, and in doing so, Papi becomes a sensation in Boston, and a Red Sox immortal.
After his release by the Minnesota Twins, a chance encounter would change the trajectory of David's life forever.
A special audio series celebrating the rise of a man who willed himself to greatness — and in the process, changed the culture of a city.
If I was in the commissioner’s chair, every day I’d be asking myself: How can we make baseball even more fun?
Welcome to Fair or Foul, a series in which athletes are asked to make quick and candid judgements on pop culture. Next up is baseball legend David Ortiz.
You know Big Papi. But when I came to this country, I was a simple guy who was trying to have fun and make his dream come true.