David Ortiz Biography

David Americo Ortiz Arias, also known as ‘Big Papi’, is a Dominican-American professional baseball player who currently plays as the designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball. With his impressive physique and ability to hit massive home runs, Ortiz is considered the heart of the Red Sox’s offensive machine. He gained his love for the game from his father, who played baseball in the Dominican pro and semi-pro leagues. Despite being initially pushed into basketball in high school due to his size, Ortiz’s talent eventually led him to a contract with the Seattle Mariners, who later traded him to the Minnesota Twins. Recognized by Major League Baseball, Ortiz was given the opportunity to play as a pinch hitter for the Red Sox before becoming their designated hitter for a full season. He has since become a nine-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and holds numerous records for home runs, RBIs, and hits by a designated hitter in MLB history. Ortiz is widely regarded as the most famous and intimidating player in American baseball.

Quick Facts

  • Nick Name: Big Papi
  • Also Known As: David Américo Ortiz Arias
  • Age: 48 Years
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Tiffany
    • Mother: Angela Rosa Arias
    • Children: Alexandra, D’Angelo, Jessica
  • Born Country: Dominican Republic
  • Height: 1.91 m
  • Ancestry: Dominican American
  • Grouping of People: Black Baseball Players
  • City: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Discoveries/Inventions: David Ortiz Children’s Fund
  • Awards:
    • 2004 – American League Championship Series MVP Award for most valuable player
    • 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 – Edgar Martínez Award for outstanding designated hitter
    • 2011 – Roberto Clemente Award for Major League Baseball player
    • 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 – American League Designated Hitter Silver Slugger Award for best offensive player
    • 2005 – American League Hank Aaron Award for best baseball player
    • 2004, 2005 – GIBBY in Baseball Hitter of the Year Award for extraordinary baseball performer

Childhood & Early Life

David Ortiz was born in Saint Domingo, Dominican Republic to Enrique and Angela Rosa. His father played baseball for years in Dominican pro and semi-pro leagues and became a source of inspiration for Ortiz. Ortiz was the eldest of four children and was the most easygoing and calm person in the family. He attended the Estudia Espaillat High School and there he championed the game of basketball.

Career

In 1992, he was signed on by the Seattle Mariners and he played for them until 1996 and then got traded off to the Minnesota Twins. He was listed as ‘David Arias’ before, which was later changed to ‘David Ortiz’.

In 1997, Ortiz made his debut in the Major League, playing for the Minnesota Twins but he suffered from many injuries. He experienced serious knee problems, which finally led to his release by the Twins in 2002.

Ortiz signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2003. He mostly did pinch-hitting for them but sometimes played as a DH. He proved his real mettle when he was made a permanent DH by Gary Little.

In 2004, Ortiz hit 41 home runs and had 139 RBIs while batting .301 with an OPS of .983, which helped him finish second in the American League and he led Red Sox to their first World Series championship.

In the same year, he hit his 100th career home run but was also deferred for three games since in the game against the Angels he threw on the field many bats that could have hurt the umpires.

In 2005, Ortiz led the American League in RBIs by finishing second in home runs and third in OPS. He was presented with a plaque by Red Sox ownership, calling him ‘the greatest clutch-hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox’.

In 2006, Ortiz hit his 200th career home run. He broke Jimmie Foxx’s record by hitting his 51st home run off of Johan Santana of the Twins. The home run was his 44th of the season as a DH.

His 35 home runs and 117 RBIs, placed him in the top 10 in the American League, and additionally, his 52 doubles, led the American League in extra-base hits and earned him an OPS of 1.066 in 2007.

In 2008, Ortiz could not play as many matches because of a wrist injury. He missed several weeks and could only play in 109 games and concluded the season with 23 home runs and 89 RBIs while batting .264.

Ortiz hit his 300th career home run in 2009 and finished the season with 28 home runs and 99 RBIs with a .238 average. He also hit his 270th career home run as a DH.

In 2010, Ortiz won the Home Run Derby contest at the All-Star Game and finished the season with 32 home runs, 102 RBIs, and batted .270.

Ortiz became only the fifth player to hit 300 home runs as a member of the Red Sox in 2011. He also won the Roberto Clemente Award in the same year. Ortiz hit his 400th career home run at O .co Coliseum in Oakland in 2012. He could not do very well in the season because he suffered an injury to his right Achilles tendon. In 2013, Ortiz hit his 500th career double and passed Harold Baines to become the all-time leader for hits by a DH with 1689. He also finished third in Boston’s mayoral race that year with 560 write-in votes. In the postseason, he scored five home runs and 13 RBI during the World Series championship. In the AL Division Series, he hit two home runs against the Tampa Bay Rays. He went on to hit a grand slam against the Detroit Tigers which ultimately led the Red Sox to score the win. Later in the World Series, he led the Red Sox to victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. Ortiz also bagged the World Series Most Valuable Player Award.

In 2014, he signed a one-year contract for $16 million. He performed well during the season, hitting a home run an amazing 35 times and also bringing in 104 RBI. The following year, he scored 37 home runs and had 108 RBI. In both years, he was placed among the top 10 in the AL. In 2015, he announced that he will be retiring from baseball after the 2016 season.

In the 2016 season, Ortiz hit 38 home runs and had 127 RBI. Again, he was ranked in the top 10 in the AL. This turned out to be a special season for Ortiz as he received gifts from the opposing teams. In his honor, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that the bridge carrying Brookline Avenue over Massachusetts would be dedicated to Ortiz.

In 2017, he came to cover the 2017 World Series on MLB on Fox as a part-time sports analyst. In 2019, he returned to the channel as a full-time studio analyst.

Awards & Achievements

Ortiz is a nine-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion and he holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54 and also an all-time leader in MLB history.

Personal Life & Legacy

Ortiz married Tiffany, from Kaukauna, Wisconsin, a town between the cities of Green Bay and Appleton. The couple has three children together. In 2013, he announced that he is separating from his wife. However, the couple later reconciled.

Trivia

Every time Ortiz hit a home run, he looked up and pointed both index fingers to the sky as a tribute to his dead mother, who died tragically in a car accident. He owns a nightclub in the Dominican Republic, ‘Forty-Forty’.

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