Thursday marks David Ortiz’s 74th postseason game with the Boston Red Sox. The slugger, who embarks on his final postseason, has led his team to three World Series titles.
Off the field, he is a husband, and father of three. And similar to the game of baseball, his personal life has had its ups and downs. David and his wife of 13 years, Tiffany, hit a rough patch in their marriage in 2013 and even contemplated divorce. However, they worked through the difficult stretch and have been back together since 2014.
Here’s more on David’s family:
1. Ortiz and His Wife Have Been Married for 13 Years
Formerly known as Tiffany Brick, she became Mrs. David Ortiz back in 2002. The couple has been together for 20 years– Ortiz met Tiffany when he was still in the minors. Their story began when Ortiz decided to go out after a game one night with some of his teammates. Ortiz was playing for the the Seattle Mariners’ Single A team in Wisconsin, which is where Tiffany lived.
MLB.com reported the couple’s separation in April 2013. David said the relationship wasn’t working and the two were filing for divorce.
David, who was coming off an injury, didn’t want anyone to connect his marital issues with his performance on the field, which was suffering.
“I’m going to separate things. Whatever is happening to me off the field is happening, but I try not to confuse that and bring that into my job,” he told MLB.com. “I know how to separate things. Personal life matters, and hopefully everybody respects that.”
He also asked for privacy for his family.
“There are some situations in life that work out for a period of time and at some point they don’t work out anymore and you have to move on,” he said. I’m moving on. She’s moving on.”
However, the two couldn’t stick with the split. After getting back together in June 2014 their relationship is “better than ever,” Tiffany told the Track.
“We separated for a while,” she said. “We did, but we missed each other terribly.”
2. They Have 3 Children Together
David and Tiffany have three children, daughters Jessica and Alexandra and a son, D’Angelo. Tiffany has stayed at home with the kids, which David has said was always important for the couple.
In an interview with Mass Live, he explained that he and his wife wanted to ensure their children grew up receiving enough attention, understood their value and learned good behavior.
“One thing I always tell my kids is, ‘Your behavior means a lot to me,'” David told the news site.
David stressed the importance of respect in their household. He said the way his father and mother raised him and his sister has a strong influence on the way he raises his own children.
“One of the most important things about being a father is being able to spend time with them,” he told Mass Live. “Being able to pay attention to all the things that they do. I want to know who they are around. And I think the biggest part of my kid’s good behavior is they’ve always been around me and their mom.”
3. His Daughter Surprised Him By Singing the National Anthem Before the Home Opener
David’s 15-year-old daughter Alex Ortiz sang the National Anthem at the Red Sox’s homer opener. It was a complete surprise to Big Papi, who was entering his final season.
“He said to me, ‘Don’t ever surprise me like that again,” Alex told reporters, according to Mass Live.
David teared up when he saw his daughter sing, which is rare for the MLB veteran.
“I wanted him to be emotional,” Alex said. “Somebody told me that he cried and I was like, ‘Yes.’ I didn’t know if that was a terrible thing.”
She also told reporters her father’s retirement was bittersweet.
“I am terribly sad but I know that I’m going to have a lot more time to spend with him and he deserves a break,” she said. “He’s getting older.”
4. David Calls His Father His Best Friend
David shares a close relationship with his father, Enrique. As he told Mass Live, he calls his dad both his mentor and best friend.
“This guy worked extremely hard to give me the opportunity to not have to worry about things but get well educated and play a sport,” David said. “He always made sure I wasn’t getting in any trouble. He always was checking up on who was around me, which was the most important thing. He never let me feel peer pressure from nobody.”
David and his father have shared many experiences together over the years, including three World Series wins.
“I (bring) my dad pretty much through the playoffs everywhere with me,” David told the news site.
In the interview, David explained that his dad once had aspirations to become a baseball player. Enrique was 22 when Ortiz was born, and played amateur baseball in the Dominican Republic as a pitcher.
“He gave up on baseball right when my mom got pregnant with me,” he told Mass Live. “When he find out my mom was pregnant, he had to get himself another job. He worked selling auto parts back home and he did a good job, man.”
His father always pushed David to not give up on his dream of playing professional baseball.
My dad used to always say, ‘When you become a pro baller, your first No. 1 goal is to get to the big leagues. And once you get to the big leagues, next thing you want to do is go to an All-Star Game. Once you go to an All-Star Game, next thing you want to do is win a World Series, (then) win an MVP. And all the stuff that you accomplish in your career, it’s another step.’
5. David & His Wife Prioritize Their Children’s Education
David’s oldest daughter graduated from high school in 2015 and his son has an interest in playing basketball and baseball. However, David says the priority remains on his children’s education.
We’ll see how that plays out. All I worry about right now is him being well educated. Education to me is the most important thing. And I think that when you’re well educated, a lot of doors open up, more than anything else. And if you become a professional athlete and well educated — bingo.
Aside from raising their children, David and Tiffany have been involved in several philanthropic efforts to support kids who are less fortunate.
David created The David Ortiz Children’s Fund in 2007, with the help of his wife after a visit to CEDIMAT Hospital, in his home country of the Dominican Republic in 2005. David was simply hoping to put a smile on the children’s faces and help them forget their troubles for a moment, but he was moved to do something more. Two years later he created a fund to “help children in New England and the Dominican Republic who do not have access to the critical pediatric services they need.”
The website reads, “The David Ortiz Children’s Fund is proud to partner with Massachusetts General Hospital and World Pediatric Project through its work with CEDIMAT to fulfill its mission. Working together, these organizations are increasing the number of children receiving lifesaving surgeries.”
David recalled the hardship he faced in his own childhood in an article he wrote for The Players Tribune. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, he often felt unsafe due to recurrent violence, and didn’t have access to the best nutrition. David explained the only protein his family could afford was black beans.