Twenty-nineth installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.
Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.
Therefore, the order in which the names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.
As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.
I’m gonna be very honest: when I listed the people that would get into the Hall of Idols I tried at all costs to avoid sports figures. Not because I don’t like them, but because I tried to keep focus on arts.
However, there were some situations where I couldn’t help it. Soccer player Diego Maradona was one and David Ortiz is another. He made me so happy at least three times in my life that it would be rather unfair to ignore his induction into the hall.
David Américo Ortiz was born November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He graduated from Estudia Espallat High School in Dominican Republic in 1992 and was immediately signed by the Seattle Mariners under the name David Arias.
He was traded to the Minnesota Twins where he informed that he preferred to be called David Ortiz. Ortiz was plagued by injuries during his 5 years with the Twins who released him, so he signed a contract as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox in January 2003. And that’s when the fun began.
He started pinch hitting but really found his stride when he was placed as Designed Hitter. In the traumatic ALCS against the Yankees, he had only 2 home runs and 6 RBIs, but it was clear something good was brewing, just like a nice Sam Adams seasonal.
It was October 2004 and the Red Sox trailed his arch-rivals Yankees 3-0 in the ALCS. It was bound to be another disappointing season for the Red Sox Nation and the continuation of the Curse of the Bambino.
Nobody thought the greatest comeback in the history of sports was about to happen. In the 12th inning of Game 4 Ortiz hit a walk-off home-run to keep the Red Sox breathing. In Game 5 he hits a walk-off single in the 14th inning. The stretch of four consecutive victories was dubbed “4 days in October” and I remember that after each game, I couldn’t believe my eyes. These performances earned him an MVP award (first time a DH earned that on an ALCS) and the Red Sox advanced to the World Series where they beat the Cardinals and won for the first time in 86 years.
Obviously, Ortiz was important helping Boston win his 7th World Series in 2007 against the Rockies, but his legend would reach unbelievable status six years afterwards.
Boston was victim of vicious terrorist attacks in 2013 during the Boston Marathon. In the first baseball game at Fenway after the attacks, Ortiz grabbed the mike and shouted at the crowd: “Boston, this is our fucking city, and no one is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong”. Boston Strong became the team’s mantra that year, but the legend of Ortiz would only grow.
In Game 2 of the ALCS, Ortiz hit a Grand Slam to tie the game against the Tigers at Fenway. I can only remember how I jumped up and down in my living room like an idiot as the ball (and the Tigers player) went over the wall. It was a critical victory to propel Boston to the World Series, once again against the Cardinals.
And once again Ortiz shone. He hit home runs in both games 1 and 2 and was named MVP of the World Series.
Therefore, after hitting so many out of the park welcome inside the Hall Of Idols, “Big Papi”.
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.
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