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David Ortiz: Redefining baseball and beyond

From baseball legend to business mogul

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

Ortiz’s Impact in Boston: Breaking the Drought

When David Ortiz arrived in Boston in 2003, he was faced with the Red Sox’s 84-year World Series title drought. However, Ortiz’s exceptional skill and determination led Boston to three championships during his 14-year career. His journey to becoming one of baseball’s greatest designated hitters began in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where his talent quickly caught the attention of major league scouts.

Early Career and Rise to Stardom

At just seventeen, Ortiz signed his first professional contract with the Seattle Mariners. His career had its share of challenges, including a trade to the Minnesota Twins and numerous injuries. However, his 2003 move to Boston, initially on a modest one-year contract, dramatically changed the course of the Red Sox’s history. Ortiz’s remarkable ability shone brightest during the 2004 championship, cementing his legacy as a baseball legend. His powerful swings broke records and silenced critics, marking him as an iconic figure in the sport.

Entrepreneurial Ventures and Philanthropy

  • ORTIZ34: In 2019, Ortiz launched Ortiz 34, a brand offering youth baseball bats, gloves, and balls.
  • Big Papi Productions: Ortiz established Big Papi Productions to create authentic, engaging content that tells meaningful stories.
  • Dugout Ventures: Co-founded in 2016 with other baseball legends like Nolan Ryan and Barry Larkin, Dugout Ventures is a private equity firm investing in innovative baseball equipment companies.
  • Big Papi’s Kitchen: Established in 2013, a portion of the sales from Big Papi’s Kitchen benefits the David Ortiz Children’s Fund.
  • Papi Cannabis: Ortiz’s premium cannabis product line, Papi Cannabis, reflects his diverse business interests.

Ortiz’s legacy extends far beyond the baseball diamond, exemplifying a blend of athletic greatness and entrepreneurial spirit, all while contributing to social causes.

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