David Américo Ortiz Arias (born November 18, 1975, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), nicknamed "Big Papi", is a Dominican American professional baseball designated hitter with the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. Previously, Ortiz played for the Minnesota Twins (1997–2002). Ortiz is a six-time All-Star and holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs in a regular season with 54, set during the 2006 season. He is considered by many to be "the greatest clutch-hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox".
Ortiz graduated from Estudia Espallat High School in the Dominican Republic and in 1992 he was signed by the Seattle Mariners who listed him as "David Arias" (possibly not understanding Spanish naming customs). He played for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a Mariners farm team, until 1996, when the Mariners received Dave Hollins from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later. Later that season, the Mariners announced that the player to be named later would be Arias. When he arrived in Minnesota, he informed the team that he preferred to be listed as "David Ortiz," making him, quite literally, a player to be named later. He made his debut in September 1997. For a few years, he was moved back and forth between the Twins and their minor league affiliate, the Salt Lake Buzz. In 2002, Ortiz hit .272 for Minnesota, with 20 home runs and 75 RBIs. The Twins advanced to the American League Championship Series that year, where they lost to the Anaheim Angels. Despite showing flashes of talent, Ortiz's time with the Twins will be remembered as a series of injuries and inconsistency both in the field and at the plate. Ortiz suffered wrist injuries in both 1998 and 2001. When knee problems hit in early 2002 and plagued him throughout the season, his fate with the Twins was sealed despite hitting 32 doubles, 20 homers and 75 RBIs, in only 125 games. He was released by the Twins after the season. In six seasons with the Twins, Ortiz hit 58 homers and 239 RBI.
On January 22, 2003 Ortiz signed a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox. He played sparingly in the first two months of the season, primarily pinch hitting and starting occasionally as a DH. On June 1, manager Grady Little benched slumping Jeremy Giambi and inserted Ortiz in the lineup as the full time DH. In July, Ortiz hit 8 HR's and in August he had 11 more. He finished the season batting .288 with 31 HR's and 101 RBI. He finished 5th in the AL MVP voting. In the postseason he struggled in the ALDS against the Oakland A's until Game 4 when he hit a 2 run double in the bottom of the 8th inning off of closer Keith Foulke to give the Red Sox the lead. In the ALCS against the Yankees, Ortiz had 2 HR'S and 6 RBI as Boston lost in 7 games.
In 2004, Ortiz played a major role in leading the Red Sox to their first World Series championship in 86 years. This was Ortiz's second year with the Red Sox and his first year as their full-time designated hitter. During the season, Ortiz was voted onto the All-Star team for the first time in his career, as he batted .301 with 41 home runs and 139 RBI. Ortiz was also suspended for 5 games (later reduced to 3 games due to an appeal) after being ejected following an incident on July 16 in a game against the Angels in which he threw several bats onto the field that came close to hitting umpires Bill Hohn and Mark Carlson. In the playoffs, Ortiz hit .400 with 5 home runs and 19 RBI. He had multiple game-winning hits to help Boston advance to and ultimately win the World Series. He hit a walk-off home run off of Jarrod Washburn to win the American League Division Series against the Angels. He then hit a walk-off home run against the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS and a walk-off single in Game 5 during the American League Championship Series. His post-season heroics earned him MVP honors for the ALCS. Additionally, he finished fourth in AL MVP voting.
In 2006 Ortiz hit 54 home runs (setting a new Red Sox record) and had 137 RBI, while batting .287 with an OPS of 1.049. He led the American League in both HR and RBI, winning the HR crown by 10 over the 2nd place finisher Jermaine Dye .
2006 was a year of Walk-off home runs (the act of winning a game in the bottom half of the last inning) for Ortiz. He excelled in Late Inning Pressure Situations (LIPS), hitting more walk-off base hits (5, including 3 home runs) that year than most teams.
On August 27, 2006, Ortiz tied his career high in home runs by hitting his 47th home run of the year off Cha Seung Baek of the Seattle Mariners. On September 20, 2006, Ortiz tied Jimmie Foxx's single season Red Sox home run record of 50 set in 1938; in the 6th inning against Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Boof Bonser, Big Papi launched the ball into the center field bleachers behind the Red Sox bullpen. Ortiz has the unique achievement of having increased his season home run tally in each of seven consecutive seasons (starting from 1999, year-by-year he has hit 0, 10, 18, 20, 31, 41, 47 and 54 HRs).
On September 27, 2006, Ortiz broke Jimmie Foxx's single season Red Sox home run record by hitting his 51st home run off his former teammate, Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins. The home run came on a 1–0 pitch in the first inning and it was his 44th home run as a designated hitter in 2006, breaking his own American League single-season record. Ortiz then hit his 52nd home run off reliever Matt Guerrier in the seventh inning. He finished the season with a franchise record 54 home runs.
Health issue in 2006Edit
Ortiz also said he began feeling ill between games of a day-night doubleheader on August 18, 2006, against New York that dragged into the early morning. Between games, he had gone home and tried to sleep but could not. Ortiz was reportedly driven to the hospital by a team assistant. An irregular heartbeat was the cause for the stress according to his doctors. Ortiz would not originally talk about his condition, but opened up to the media on August 25, 2006, reportedly saying "I'm a healthy son of a [gun]."
On August 28, 2006, Ortiz had recurring symptoms from his irregular heartbeat and was a last minute scratch in the Red Sox game at Oakland. Manager Terry Francona and General Manager Theo Epstein agreed that Ortiz fly back to Boston where he was reevaluated and cleared to play again in early September.
Template:BLP unsourced section In 2007, Ortiz once again was a major force as he helped lead the Red Sox to their seventh World Series title. Despite playing the entire season with a torn meniscus in his right knee as well as nagging injuries to his shoulder and quadriceps, he finished the year hitting .332 with 35 home runs and 117 RBI. In addition, he hit 52 doubles, led the American League in extra base hits and had an OPS of 1.066. In the postseason Ortiz batted .370 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI.
2008 was a frustrating season for Ortiz. After starting slowly he suffered a wrist injury which caused him to miss several weeks. He played in only 109 games and finished the season hitting .264 with just 23 home runs and 89 RBI, his lowest totals since joining the Red Sox. However, his ratio of homering every 18.1 at-bats still led the team. In his first six seasons with Boston, Ortiz has hit 231 home runs as a Red Sox, with the most homers against the Rays (34), and the Yankees (25).
Template:BLP unsourced section Ortiz struggled in the beginning of the 2009 season, hitting only .208 with no home runs and 30 strikeouts in his first 34 games. On May 20, Ortiz hit his first home run of the season off Brett Cecil of the Toronto Blue Jays, ending his career-high 149 homerless at-bat streak. In June, Ortiz broke out of his slump by hitting 7 home runs with 18 RBI. On July 9, Ortiz hit his 300th career home run against Luke Hochevar of the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Ortiz hit 7 home runs in July and August. He hit 24 RBI's in July.
On September 15, Ortiz hit his 270th career home run as a DH off of Jose Arredondo of the Los Angeles Angels breaking the all time record held by Frank Thomas.
Ortiz finished the season with 28 home runs and 99 RBI.
Ortiz hit .270 with 32 HR'S and 102 RBI.
Performance Enhancing Drug Positive Test Result In 2003Edit
On July 30, 2009, The New York Times reported that Ortiz and then-teammate Manny Ramirez were among a group of roughly 100 major league players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs during 2003 survey testing. Five months before the Times allegations surfaced, Ortiz argued that players who tested positive for steroids should be suspended for an entire season. Before the Red Sox's game that afternoon, Ortiz declined to comment on the report, saying, "I'm not talking about that anymore." Afterwards, he confirmed he had tested positive and promised to speak with the media once he "[got] to the bottom of" the matter.
Ten days later, Ortiz held a press conference before a game at Yankee Stadium and denied ever buying or using steroids but suggested the positive test might have been due to his use of supplements and vitamins at the time. When asked which supplements he had been taking, Ortiz said he did not know. Ortiz was accompanied at the press conference by the general counsel of the players union, Michael Weiner. Because the list of players who tested positive was seized as part of a government investigation and is currently under court-ordered seal pending the outcome of litigation, Weiner said the players union was unable to provide Ortiz with any details about his test result, including what substance he tested positive for.
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. Ortiz also has a tattoo of his mother on his biceps.
Ortiz and his wife Tiffany have three children: Jessica (born October 23, 1996), Alexandra (born March 22, 2001), and D'Angelo (born July 10, 2004). 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).
In April 2007, sporting goods company Reebok debuted the Big Papi 10M Mid Baseball cleat at a party in Canton, Massachusetts, home to the headquarters of Reebok International Ltd. At the party, Ortiz was quoted as saying, "Reebok's loyalty and friendship have always made me feel right at home and we are true partners in every sense of the word,... ." Ortiz first used the cleat during the 2007 MLB All Star Game in San Francisco, California.
The David Ortiz Children's Fund was founded in 2007 to support a range of causes that Ortiz believes in. The Fund allows Ortiz the flexibility to donate to those children are in the most need at any given time, from Boston to the Dominican Republic and beyond. Ortiz released his own Charity Wine label in 2008 with all the proceeds going to the David Ortiz Children's Fund. The wine called Vintage Papi proceeded to raise $150,000 for charity.
- The Sporting News Designated Hitter of the Decade (2009)
- Sports Illustrated MLB All-Decade Team (2009)
- Member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox team that won the World Series.
- Member of the 2007 Boston Red Sox team that won the World Series.
- American League Championship Series MVP (2004)
- 6-time All-Star (2004–2008,2010)
- 2005 Hank Aaron Award winner
- 5-time winner of the Edgar Martínez Award (2003–2007)
- 4-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award (2004–2007)
- Top 5 MVP vote-receiver five times (5th, 2003; 4th, 2004; 2nd, 2005; 3rd, 2006; 4th, 2007)
- Led the American League in extra base hits 3 times (2004, 2005, 2007)
- Led the American League in Home Runs (2006)
- Led the American League in Runs Batted In (2005, 2006)
- American League Player of the Month for September 2005 and July 2006.
- Red Sox single-season home-run leader (54; 2006)
- Tied with Babe Ruth for AL single-season home-run record in road games (32; 2006)
- First player ever to hit two walk-off home runs in the same postseason (against the Angels (ALDS) and Yankees (ALCS), 2004)
- First player in Red Sox history to hit 40 or more home runs in three consecutive seasons (2004–2006)
- Set new record for home runs by a DH in 2005 (47), then again in 2006 (54)
- 6 seasons of at least 30 HR and 100 RBI (2003–2007, 2010)
- Tied with Billy Hatcher for all-time post-season consecutive on-base streak (10)
- 85 extra-base hits or more for four consecutive years, something only 2 other players--Lou Gehrig (5) and Sammy Sosa (4)--have ever done.
- Ortiz's home run total increased each year from 2000–2006, starting with 10 home runs, and ending with 54.
- Became all time DH home run leader on September 15, 2009 by hitting his 270th as a Designated Hitter.
- Won 2010 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby in the final round against Hanley Ramirez.
- Has hit 12 career walk-off HR, the highest of any active player, and 20 walk-off hits total. He is currently 1 HR behind Mickey Mantle, the career leader in walk-off HR.
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