How much do you miss Big Papi?

David Ortiz was the Boston Red Sox burly designated hitter and sometimes first baseman.

Before that, he struggled to remain in the game after being released by the Minnesota Twins in 2002, but found a home at Fenway Park in 2003, where he became a legend and one of the most admired figures in Boston sports history.

David Americo Ortiz Arias was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on November 18, 1975. Ortiz was a standout baseball and basketball player for Estudia Espaillat High School, from which he graduated.

How Boston Red Sox Legend David Ortiz Became Big Papi
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While in the Dominican, Ortiz became friends with Dominican baseball pitchers Ramon Martinez and his little brother Pedro. Those connections were beneficial later in Ortiz's career as all three played Major League Baseball in the United States.

Released by the Twins following the 2002 season, a chance encounter with his old friend Pedro Martinez in the Dominican Republic led to Ortiz signing with the Boston Red Sox.

It was there that Ortiz became known as "Big Papi" to millions of adoring Red Sox fans.

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With the strength of his bat, a positive attitude and natural leadership abilities, Ortiz guided the Red Sox to World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007. He comforted Red Sox Nation when terrorists struck the Boston Marathon in 2013.

How Boston Red Sox Legend David Ortiz Became Big Papi
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Ortiz retired after the 2016 season. His number 34 was retired by the Red Sox in 2017. In 2022, Ortiz entered the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

The City of Boston named David Ortiz Bridge and David Ortiz Drive in honor of the ever-smiling slugger. On June 11, 2008, Ortiz became a United States Citizen at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

David Ortiz often referred to people as "Papi" when he couldn't remember their names. That prompted Somerset native and former Red Sox second baseman Jerry Remy, a longtime Red Sox television announcer, to give Ortiz the nickname "Big Papi."

The name stuck.

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