Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz will appear on this week’s cover of the Sports Illustrated magazine that he guest-edited before he retires this season.
The designated hitter and face of the Red Sox franchise, according to SI Communications, “is featured on a regional cover with the cover line, ‘Designated Editor: Before He Retires Big Papi Takes Over SI.’ SI went to Fenway Park with Big Papi this month to shoot the cover as he steps out of the dugout, surrounded by local teammates and fans.”
Ortiz has often claimed that he does not fear success, and that he takes on all challenges and consequences the same way. He proves that he follows that philosophy as the 40-year-old native of the Dominican Republic “sat down with SI senior writer Tom Verducci for ‘The Big Interview’ — an in-depth, candid Q&A on a range of topics in which Ortiz doesn’t shy away from tough questions about PEDs, his proudest accomplishments and his biggest disappointments.”
If people expected to see Ortiz ride off into the sunset, shying away from the spotlight and the responsibilities that come with being the leader of Boston’s historic team, they better think again.
Ortiz obeys his heart, even when it would be easy to bow out of a career spanning 20 years. With passionate words, Ortiz told SI: “The public thinks they know athletes, but they don’t really know what some people go through to get to this level… The media needs to tell these stories, because some of them are really special.”
The heart of a fighter, a true leader, can be found in those words as well as his actions.
When many other baseball legends have shown rust in their final years, begging Father Time to put an end to their reign at the top of the mountain, Ortiz has only blazed a trail for Red Sox Nation to follow into the jungle known as the postseason. The hunt for Red October may end with a World Series championship, allowing Big Papi to go out with a bang. He’s hit .321 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs, not to mention 48 doubles, to lead the team by example as much as through his wise words.
Here’s a look at the cover that will grace the public tomorrow:
The final chapter for Ortiz hasn’t been written yet, but so much has already been said about him. It’s hard to find words to discuss what Ortiz the baseball player has meant to the world, especially when he’s still using his pen at the plate to rewrite history again and again.
Instead, let us not look at him as a legend. He’s no saint, nor has he ever claimed to be one. Ortiz is a man, one who has done what he feels was right.
He was the man who supported the city that adopted him and loved him, stating how people should look at “his friend Al Horford, of the Boston Celtics, as a way to explore the brotherhood of Dominican athletes beyond their major-league dominance, and he asked SI to look into exactly what’s going on at Patriots headquarters, where his favorite NFL team is off to a 3–0 start.”
He was the man who stood on the mound after the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy and cursed in front of the entire world on television, declaring that he was as much a Bostonian as anyone else when he could have hided behind his celebrity status. He galvanized the Boston Strong movement that still continues to this day to help the victims of the tragedy.
He was the man who practically put an entire city on his back, including his teammates, and cemented his legacy by winning the 2013 World Series, giving Boston as much pride in him as he has in its people.
Ortiz loves Boston, he loves his homeland, he loves baseball, and he just plain loves. When we meet our own sunsets, will we be able to say the same?
Big Papi leads by example but also by his words, which makes him the perfect choice to be the editor of his own narrative on the diamond and in the media. If his editing skills are anything like he’s lived his life so far, that Sports Illustrated magazine will be worth reading.