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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Man


David Americo Ortiz Arias.

Big Papi.
Born 11-18-1975, this gentle giant has turned into, if not the most feared hitter in baseball, most certainly the scariest cat east of the Mississippi not named Albert Pujols.


A man who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners shortly after his 17th birthday in 1992, traded to the Twins for Dave Hollins in 1996 (That has got to go down in history as one of the all time looking back bone headed moves ever), then out right released by the Twins in the winter of 2002. PASSED OVER by King George and the Evil Empire, Theo Epstein signed him for $1.25 million for the 2003 season.


Even though he shared time with Jeremy Giambi (yes: that Jeremy Giambi. Looking back, it seems surreal huh?) at first, the big man made his presence known in the clubhouse first, not the field. Early on in 2003, the Sox were not the lovable "Cowboy Up" crew, but an angry mess of egos and attitude. Big Papi helped change the culture with his laugh that lights up a room, his customized hand shakes for every player, and his strange preference for man-hugs over high fives.


Fast forward to October 2004. Down 3 games to none, he hits a walk off bomb to win Game 4 against the Yankees in the ALCS. Game 5? He hits a walk off single to win that game. The rest is history. Oh yeah, his HR totals from 2000-2006 are as follows:
2000 10
2001 18
2002 20
2003 31
2004 41
2005 47
2006 54


2006 is the year he broke the 50 plus year record of Jimmie Foxx and his all time Red Sox HR record of 50 HR's. The man is like my wife Angie: he keeps looking better with time. But it's not just his baseball numbers that make him the larger than life superstar he is. It's the universal respect from other MLB players. It's the awe he inspires in kids and adults alike. He goes to the Children's Hospitals and talks with these dying kids and gives them a little bit of happiness in their final days. He takes the time and effort to give back to his native Dominican Republic, both in money and effort.


I'm trying to be a hero to my kids, and not let the athletes and stars fill that role for me. Because more often than not, they fail. Miserably. I am more than happy, however, to let Ciera and Rakes look up to the baddest man on the planet.


Guys like Big Papi come along once in a lifetime. Yeah, he ain't perfect. Neither am I. For an athlete, he's close enough.


Here's to the much deserved, late in coming, MVP season in 2007 for David Americo Ortiz Arias.


Here's to Big Papi.

29 comments:

Kaylee said...

I Dont like that middle name.JUST HAD TO SAY IT.

Ted D said...

Kaylee, you don't like Americo? Named after America?

You are a strange person.

Tex said...

Tiz and his Big Black Stick!!! I just love that pic!! I love seeing Papi and his beautiful smile! Amazing the road Ortiz took to Boston!

Tex said...

ted she hates texas and the name americo? she must be a yankee :)

Kaylee said...

Nopw TEX will believe that I know I am strane.That is what I like about myself!

Kaylee said...

//ted she hates texas and the name americo? she must be a yankee :)//

TEX, NO I am not. and never will be.

Ted D said...

Kaylee,

You may want to have your Mom look into Ritalin. I hear it does wonders. :)

Tex, I've said this before: after Mama and Dada, the third word Rakes learned was Papi: I kid you not.

He LOVES Big Papi: poster in his room and everything. And I'm happy he does. Ortiz seems like a guy who gets it.

scott h said...

I tried to tell you about Big P back in the day, but you would not listen!!Ted you hit the jackpot I might read that one a second time.Plus you might be in luck my MOJO is working right now a pic for you. If you look out at the top of the MONSTER what do you see in the air.

Tex said...

Ted have you figured out myspace yet?

Matt said...

Papi is one-of-a-kind, that's for sure. And it makes it that much cooler that he got passed over by so many. Had he been a "can't miss", we wouldn't love him like we do. Heck, the fact that he wasn't highly touted is probably what keeps him such a humble giant.

And yeah, Bub, I'm sure you bought his rookie card when the Mariners drafted him, cause you are SO up on things like that!

And I absolutely love hearing Rakes say "Big Papi!!!"

scott h said...

tree newt, If I had a dime for every rookie card I have bought, I could retire and sell plants for a living!

Christine E. said...

Hello everyone:

Is there anyone who DOESN't like Big Papi? And I would rather have him than a 100 Bonds/Pujols, for the fact that he is a million times the human being they are...

Hope Trot is feeling better!

12 days....whooo hooo!

Go Sox!

Kaylee said...

//You may want to have your Mom look into Ritalin. I hear it does wonders. :)//

I dont think that will be enough to slow me down:)

scott h said...

Ted , did you see the game, I told you to watch Dice k! You gotta listen to me when I give you a tip. Kaylee how much mountian dew do you drink? back off on the high octain drinks. That will calm you down

Ted D said...

Well, Scotty and Kaylee must have been busy today: no day long conversation!

Tex, to be honest with you, I have not tried since that one time: If I get a chance tonight, I'll give it another whirl.

Scott, 3 pictures? You are gonna have to start charging... after the 3rd one of course.

Hey Christine! Trot is a lot better thanks. Him and Rakes have about got their Mom to start taking "mothers little helper"! And you are right, Papi is universally loved. When I go to the few games I get to go to, the other teams players just flock to him. It's really amazing to watch.

Finally, raisin bran, glad you are back amongst the living and can post semi-regular. Be sure to bring the wango dango up this week so we can get on here at market during the day and harass Scotty!

Ted D said...

Bub, you know I did not see the game! YOU called me remember? Well, they do say the mind is the first thing to go. And it was you who were bashing the man the other day for giving up a gopher ball to "Don Knotts".

Kaylee said...

Sorry Scott,my life depends on that stuff.I cant give it up now:)

Kaylee said...

I actually had a life today TED!

Tex said...

i may not be around till late tonight...duty calls.

ya know having to drink with my friends

Ted D said...

Stay safe Tex.

(Everyone check back arond 11:00 or so. This could get funny real quick.)

Stacy said...

Cool photo of the baddest man on the planet. :) That smile can light up a room.

Lay off Raisin Bran; he's living out of boxes right now at his in-laws.

Glad Trot is better. Ang called today and I think Rakes was driving her up a tree. I do not want to be her for the next 10 days.

Ted D said...

I don't want to be ME for the next 10 days Stacy.

She'll be fine: Nanny comes back just in time!

Kaylee said...

You guys got it better than us kids do!

Kaylee said...

Ted when Tex means late aint it usally after midnight?

Kaylee said...

How do I fail someone on a homework paper?My cousin just told I made him fail his 6th grade math paper.Guess I cant do 6th grade math.....if that is the case I need serious help:)

Ted D said...

Kaylee, you are killing me.

GET OFF THE CAFFINE ASAP. Your kidneys will thank you later.

Kaylee said...

if I am killing you here you having seen me over on SG yet today.Caffeine? I am only drinking diet Mountain Dew.

Kaylee said...

and thats what I got 2 kidneys for:)

Kaylee said...

You know TED a women has to get her caffeine fix every day.