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David Ortiz, Aka Big Papi, Was Shot And People Are Still Trying To Use Him For His Money

David Ortiz, better known by the very Latino monicker of “Big Papi”, is a former professional baseball player helming out of the Dominican Republic, and who is famous for being part of the Boston Red Sox. His larger-than-life persona, charming smile and big bear physique has made him a much loved and admired player in Boston, a city that lives and breaths baseball. 

Life has been tough for David Ortiz, Big Papi, since June 9, when he was shot.

Credit: sportssigns / Instagram

Big Papi’s life has not been easy in recent months: he was shot on June 9 while at a bar in the Dominican Republic. He underwent a six hour operation and is on the mend. Life circumstances have made him question the nature of fame and the intentions of some of those who approach him. 

So who is Big Papi? (if you are a hardcore baseball fan you should know!)

Just look at that smile! You would not think that this man had such a rough upbringing. David Américo Ortiz Arias was born November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In his hometown, he had to survive the tough streets to make something out of himself. Like many Dominican youth, he turned to baseball as a way to get self-discipline and burn some testosterone. The Boston Globe reports: “Before he turned 10, David Ortiz saw a man stabbed to death. Growing up in a dangerous corner of Santo Domingo, Ortiz was accustomed to rat-a-tat gunfire and drug-dealing gangs that ruled the rutted roads around his home.”

Bostonians and Red Sox fans adore him.

Ortiz first played for the Minnesota Twins, but it was in Boston that he built a career that is the stuff of legends. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox from 2003 all the way to 2016, he was a ten-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Big Papi also holds Boston’s single-season record for home runs: he scored  54 during the 2006 season. The Boston Globe explains the adoration that Big Papi inspires among Bostonians and Latinos: “Ortiz is widely adored from the Dominican barrios to American boardrooms. He has attained the image of a big-hearted force for good, whether glad-handing strangers on the streets, raising money for desperately ill children in both countries, or exhorting a traumatized city to unite in strength after the Boston Marathon bombings”.

Some have taken their fandom of Big Papi to the extreme.

Credit: juanbambinodr / Instagram

This tattoo is an example of the level of admiration that Big Papi sparks. Can you imagine seeing his face every single day? His life story and generous spirit is certainly something to strive for. 

The curse of fame: money comes at a price.

As reported by The Boston Globe: “But his ascent to stardom also made Ortiz, like other multimillionaire athletes in the Caribbean and beyond, a prime target for hustlers, criminals, and opportunists, and vulnerable to random crime”. 

A story that tends to repeat itself: leeches are por todos lados.

Credit: peteabe / Instagram

Like has happened with many other Latino sportsmen (we can think of Panamanian boxing icon Roberto Duran, for example), soon money and fame bring unwanted guests to the party. That is why Ortiz has felt used during most of the peak of his professional success. It must be hard specially for someone who has been a generous celebrity who thinks how his fame can bring joy to others. 

The beginning of the debacle: 2012 nightclub incident.

Credit: David Ortiz / Instagram

What a nightmare. As The Boston Globe recalls: “One case in which Big Papi found himself victimized dates to the fall of 2012 in Boston, when Ortiz became the extortion target of a Dominican-American ex-convict with a history of violence, according to court records and an investigator who worked undercover on the case. For reasons that remain unclear, Ortiz and the ex-convict, Felix A. Paulino, were together in a private back room at the Venu nightclub one night in the Theatre District. Paulino videotaped Ortiz chatting with several women. Even though the video allegedly showed Ortiz doing nothing more than playfully flirting with the women, Paulino phoned Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, and threatened to sell the recording to the celebrity gossip site TMZ unless Ortiz paid him $20,000”. What a terrible human being! 

The attempt on his life nearly cost him his life. Authorities say it was a case of mistaken identity: but how can you misidentify one of the better known faces in the country?

Credit: davidortiz/ Instagram

On June 19, 2019, Big Papi was shot in the back at close range. He nearly died from traumatic injuries to his liver, intestines, and gall bladder, which was taken out. The Dominican police claims that it could have been a case of mistaken identity, but this is highly improbable. After all, how can you mistake Big Papi for someone else? It would be like mistaking Michael Jordan for another dude! According to reports, this is what Ortiz told the police who attended to the shooting: “Please don’t let me die, I’m a good man.”

Boston totally rallied behind him after the shooting.

Credit: baseballdiario / Instagram

As reported by CNN: “‘David Ortiz is probably the most beloved and one of the most important players in our history, leading us to multiple World Series championships, and an active member in the community,’ said Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy. ‘I would be hard-pressed to think of anyone more beloved than David.'”

The Latino baseball community is following every step of his recuperación.

Credit: mlb_lo_mejor / Instagram

David underwent surgery in the Dominican Republic following the incident, but was then transferred to the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he remains under observation. His wife has been by his side all this time. 

And people are just wondering how come someone as beloved as Big Papi was even shot!

Credit: @makaylaamonette / Twitter

Some celebrities live and die with a “bad boy” reputation and while physical harm is never condoned, sometimes it comes as no surprise. Big Papi is different, however. 

Other hyper famous sports figures are wishing him the best.

Credit: @TomBrady / Twitter

Besides the Red Sox, the New England Patriots are the most beloved team in the Boston area (well, maybe the Celtics too, but they haven’t been that successful as of late). Fans will love the fact that Big Papi and Tom Brady are good pals and the quarterback was one of the first to wish David a speedy recovery. 

This is the guy who gives so much of his life to charitable causes, no manchen.

Credit: @RobinsonCano / Twitter

Through the David Ortiz Children’s Fund he helps minors in Boston and the Dominican Republic. The fund’s mission is as critical as it comes, as it “provides essential support for children in the Dominican Republic and in New England who cannot afford the critical cardiac services they need. We are proud to partner with CEDIMAT Hospital in Santo Domingo and the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children to fulfill this mission. Through outreach, education, and support for medical care, we’re committed to enhancing the health and well-being of children who require life-saving heart surgeries”. What a fantastic, practical cause. By the way, you can donate here: https://www.davidortizchildrensfund.org/donate-2-2-2/

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