Stepping up to the plate in the #8 spot in my FREE sports comic book Boston Sports Icons is Boston Red Sox “Big Papi” David Ortiz.
“Big Papi” is also the feature of today’s #TBT sports blog.
The nickname “Papi” translates in multiple ways within the Hispanic community. Several recognized G-rated definitions are: father, daddy, attractive man, affectionate pet name for a young boy, leading member of a gang and alpha male.
In Major League Baseball circles however, there exists only one instantly recognizable reference to “Papi.” The endearing name belongs to Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
Respectfully known as Big Papi, this extra-large Dominican embodies many of the positive and multi-faceted attributes of the “Papi” nickname. With a 6’5” and generous 275 lb. frame, Ortiz originally earned the “Papi” moniker for leading his “gang” of baseball teammates to three World Series championships in 2004, 2007 and 2013.
David Ortiz: 9-time MLB All-Star
The handsome nine-time Major League Baseball All-Star is more than just a “father figure” in the clubhouse, as the “papi” name suggests. Brash, confident and skilled as a hitter, David Ortiz is a highly successful “alpha male” on the playing field as his impressive hitting statistics have proven.
Ortiz’s career numbers at the plate are worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. Big Papi’s impressive career batting average enabled him to sign a whopping $13 million per year contract with the Red Sox. He also set a Red Sox team record by belting 54 home runs during the 2006 season.
Ortiz is also widely regarded as the most highly specialized performer in a highly specialized position. The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated both named him Designated Hitter of the Decade.
A seven time winner of the Edgar Martinez Award as the American League’s top DH, Ortiz remains the all-time leader among designated hitters in hits, home runs and runs batted in.
Big Papi has been so proficient at the plate in a Boston uniform that Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski surprisingly referred to #34 as the second best hitter in franchise history behind Ted Williams.
Ortiz’s imposing physique and colorful personality combine to make him a Boston Sports Nation favorite. Kids mimic his well-known histrionics in the batter’s box. They also wear Big Papi inspired sunglasses and batting gloves. And, rabid adult fans replicate Ortiz’s pointing to heaven while crossing home plate after belting a home run. The heavenward gesture originated as a tribute to Big Papi’s late mother who died tragically in a 2002 car wreck.
Big Papi’s watershed moment in which he emerged as a true Boston Sports Icon arrived when he addressed a hurting Fenway crowd in April, 2013. It occurred shortly after the insidious and shocking Boston marathon bombings.
Despite Big Papi’s profanity punctuated pre-game speech, he encouraged a confused and reeling Boston community. Moreover, his powerful speech cemented the likeable large Ortiz’s lore in Bean Town sports history as a Boston sports hero who unquestionably embodies the city’s Boston Strong spirit.
That’s why the alpha male Big Papi boisterously barrels into the #8 pick in Boston Sports Icons.
Click on the purple cover above to safely download the FREE sports comic book Boston Sports Icons. Enjoy the read. Feel free to share it with others.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!