David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, was born and raised in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He graduated from Estudia Espallat High School and in 1992 was signed by the Seattle Mariners, playing in the minor leagues until 1996, when he was traded to the Minnesota Twins. He made his major league debut in 1997. In 2003, he signed a free agent contract with the Red Sox, and he has gone on to become a three-time World Series champion, the holder of the Red Sox single-season home run record (54) and a fixture in the All-Star Game (not to mention an MVP in our book—see here). A documentary about his career, David Ortiz In the Moment, premieres on Epix on July 17. His foundation, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, raises money to help provide medical care to children in need. He and his wife, Tiffany, live in Weston with their kids.
Jonathan Soroff: After the Marathon bombing, did you mean to drop the F-bomb when you said, “It’s our f—ing city”?
David Ortiz: I did, I guess. I said it.
No. I think people liked it. There are T-shirts that say it now. It was appropriate at the time.
I would say Punta Cana. It’s beautiful.
I’d like to finish my career with 500 home runs.
Consistency. I try to be consistent.
Sport you most like to watch?
Besides baseball, it’s gotta be a toss-up between football and basketball.
Absolutely not. [Laughs.]
I don’t like gambling anymore, but if I had to pick one, it’d be blackjack.
I don’t know. We’ll see. It depends on how I feel.
The whole body. [Laughs.] Everything.
Guacamole and chips.
Broke it over my knee.
I’d increase security in schools.
I’d like to do a commercial for Samsung. That would be cool.
Oh, I can’t tell you that. Everyone else would be insulted.
If they wanted to, yeah.
Well, I’d say the sleeping room we have—a room to take naps.
[Laughs.] No. I keep them in a safe.
Yeah. Well, I used to a lot more than I do now.
Sit at my house, get disconnected. Just hanging out with the family. I like to cook out at my house a lot. I eat more at my house than I eat in a restaurant.
It’s gotta be Vejigantes in the South End.
They’ve got everything, and if they don’t have it on the menu, they’ll still make it for you.
I have a feeling they’d do that for you, not for me. Thing that people would be surprised to learn about you: Do you keep bees, play chess…?
I like to bowl. I’m pretty good.
My barber here, El Vacano.
I’d say Rob Bradford on WEEI.
[Laughs.] I think I’m going to leave that one alone.
I can watch TV all day. The Dominican Channel, action movies. I have this one Colombian movie called Tres Caines, and my wife is always like, “You’re watching that again? C’mon!” She can’t understand it. I sneak down like a cat and turn it on, but she always catches me.
United. It’s a very unique city.