David Ortiz has three World Series rings and is 33rd on the MLB home run list going into his 18th season. But, he’s still trying to convince people he belongs in the Hall of Fame — because he was part of the 2003 PED scandal.
“Big Papi” wrote a personal essay for the Player’s Tribune, called “The Dirt,” telling his side of the story.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. Ortiz Was Not Told What Was in His System When He Failed the Drug Test
According to “The Dirt,” Ortiz was never told what was in his system when he failed the drug test in 2003 because the results were never supposed to be publicized.
No one had ever told me I’d failed any test. Now six years later some documents get leaked and they’re saying I’m dirty. I called my agent and asked what was going on. He didn’t have any answers for me. I called the MLB Players’ Association and they didn’t have any answers for me. To this day, nobody has any answers for me. Nobody can tell me what I supposedly tested positive for. They say they legally can’t, because the tests were never supposed to be public.
Ortiz said, like most players, it was from taking over-the-counter supplements from places like GNC.
Most MLB players take a dozen pills a day just to get them through the season — multivitamins, creatine, amino acids, nitric oxide, all kinds of stuff. Whatever you tell them is legal, they’ll take it.
But back in the early 2000s, you’d go into GNC and the guy working there would say, “Hey, take this stuff. It’s great. It builds muscle, helps with soreness, burns fat, whatever.”
Okay, sure, I’ll take that. I’m buying an over-the-f***ing-counter supplement in the United States of America. I’m buying this stuff in line next to doctors and lawyers. Now all of a sudden MLB comes out and says there’s some ingredient in GNC pills that have a form of steroid in them. I don’t know anything about it.
If you think I’m full of it, go to your kitchen cabinet right now and read the back of a supplement bottle and honestly tell me you know what all of that stuff is. I’m not driving across the border to Mexico buying some shady pills from a drug dealer. I’m in a strip mall across from the Dunkin’ Donuts, bro.
2. Ortiz Honors His Late Mother After Every Home Run
Ortiz’s mother, Angela Rosa Arias, died in a car accident in 2002 when she was 46. Ortiz has a tattoo of her on his arm, and honors her after every home run, according to USA Today.
I do it normally, just to thank God and thanks to my mom, too.
3. Ortiz Will Likely Finish His Career in Boston
Ortiz and the Red Sox agreed on a one-year contract extension with options for 2016 and 2017 last offseason.
This year, he’ll make $16 million. In 2016, he’ll have a $10 million option, but will receive a bonus based on plate appearances, according to NESN. The 2017 club option will work the same way. He’ll be 41 at the end of this contract.
4. Ortiz Is 33rd on the MLB Home Runs List
Ortiz’s 466 home runs at the start of the 2015 season are enough to put him 33rd on the MLB list. He has a .285 batting average with 2,159 hits and 1,533 RBIs in 17 seasons.
5. Ortiz Is Married & Has 3 Kids
Ortiz and his wife, Tiffany, have been together for 20 years and married for 12. Together, they have three children, Jessica, Alexandra and D’Angelo.
According to the Boston Globe, the couple briefly separated in April 2013.
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. I’m moving on. She’s moving on. Hopefully everybody respects that.
However, in June, 2014, they were back together, according to the Boston Herald. Tiffany said it was because they missed each other too much.
We separated for a while. We did, but we missed each other terribly.