It’s hard to fathom the impact David Ortiz has had on the sports landscape in the city of Boston.
In 2004, Ortiz was a driving force behind the Red Sox’s miraculous run to their first World Series title in 86 years. Over the decade-plus that followed he captured our hearts and changed the culture of the franchise, winning two more championships while establishing himself as the greatest designated hitter in the history of baseball.
Ortiz’s contributions to this city also extend well beyond the baseball diamond. In 2006, “Big Papi” founded the David Ortiz Children’s Fund (DOCF) in an effort to provide for those in need of pediatric medical care. From the foundation’s website, here’s the story of its origin:
“One morning in February 2005, at the suggestion of his friends and family, David Ortiz went to CEDIMAT Hospital, in his home country of the Dominican Republic to visit children who had recently received life-saving heart care operations. The children had all received heart surgery through the work of Heartcare Dominicana, an NGO in the Dominican Republic … he saw a two-year old boy who was recovering from surgery and crying into the arms of his mother. David thought about his own son who was the same age and, thank God, healthy. This boy looked so fragile, so small. David was overwhelmed and left the hospital that day tearfully uttering his desire, his need, to do something for these children. He made a promise that he would help them somehow.”
The next time Ortiz visited CEDIMAT Hospital, he brought with him a check for $200,000 made out to Heartcare Dominicana. On that same day, Ortiz met a 14-year-old girl named Diana Reyes, the first child to benefit from the DOCF. Per the foundation’s facebook page, “Diana’s eyes lit up when she saw David come into her room as she said ‘Thank you for giving me the chance to live.’”
After planting its roots in the Dominican Republic, in 2009 the DOCF formed a partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in order to continue its mission across New England, Ortiz’s second home.
Four years ago, Ortiz further cemented himself in Boston folklore with his inspirational words to a city searching for hope in the aftermath of devastating tragedy:
His 14 magical seasons are now in the books and Ortiz is no longer the face of Fenway Park (although it’s not too late to come back, Big Papi!). While he won’t be in the Red Sox lineup this Patriots’ Day, Papi’s presence will still be felt during the 121st running of the Boston Marathon:
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) March 24, 2017
In support of the DOCF, we’ll be giving special edition WHOOP Straps to each of the top five fundraisers running for Team Papi. When they monitor their Sleep, Strain and Recovery while training for future races, they’ll be doing it while wearing this exclusive David Ortiz band:
In addition, for every limited edition WHOOP Strap 2.0 ordered with the code ORTIZ at checkout, WHOOP will donate $100 of the purchase price to the DOCF.
Thank you for everything you’ve done, Big Papi. And we continue to appreciate everything you’re doing for our f’ing city.