David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox will retire after the 2016 baseball season. He made an official announcement in April 2015 on his 40th birthday. With only 10 position players in Red Sox history ever playing past their 40th birthday, Ortiz is making history in more ways than one. Boasting more than 500 homers in his career, Ortiz has a chance to make the Hall of Fame when eligible.
One thing that hasn’t always been such a home run in his life, in addition to being flagged for using steroids in 2003, is his relationship with wife Tiffany Ortiz. The couple, who have three children together, have had some rocky patches in their marriage and even separated in 2013. But they are back together and have been happy as of 2014. David has explained several times that family, and raising their kids to be respectful, is the most important thing to him and his wife.
Here’s what you need to know about Tiffany and her relationship with David:
1. The Couple Have Three Children
Tiffany and David have three kids, teenage daughters Jessica and Alexandra and son D’Angelo.
David explains he gets a lot of his parenting techniques from his father, who still worries about his son even though he is an adult himself, he told Mass Live:
“I’m a grown up. I’m a dad, too. But when I see the way he worries about me, that tells me that you never stop worrying about your kids. The man, when I’m going through tough times — he don’t live in the country; he lives in the Dominican — but whenever he sees me going through a tough time he just jumps on an airplane, makes sure he check up on his son. You know what I’m saying? That’s how he is.”
David stresses that the most important thing to him and Tiffany is making sure their children are respectful and get a good education. His oldest daughter just graduated from high school last year and his son is already interested in basketball and baseball. But David isn’t too quick to push his son into making a career out of sports:
“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.”
2. Despite Separating in 2013 the Couple Got Back Together in 2014
MLB.com reported the couple’s separation in April 2013.
David said the relationship wasn’t working and the two were filing for divorce after almost a decade of being together. The two met when Ortiz was in the Minor Leagues.
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.
He also didn’t want anyone trying to make a connection to his performance on the field, which at the time was suffering after coming off an injury, and his personal issues, reported MLB.com. David also asked for privacy for his family, especially his three children, during this time and said the separation was amicable.
“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. I know how to separate things. Personal life matters, and hopefully everybody respects that.”
The Boston Harold reported that the couple were back together in June 2014. According to Tiffany, it was because they missed each other too much. She also said that things were “better than ever.”
3. Tiffany Is on the New England Board of Directors for UNICEF
Although Tiffany stays at home with the kids, which David claims is something they both wanted, to make sure their children got enough attention and embodied the good qualities Tiffany and David hoped to pass on to them, according to his interview with Mass Live.
“One of the most important things about being a father is being able to spend time with them. 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.”
Tiffany is also involved with UNICEF, an organization that works to support the world’s children, and is on the New England Regional Board of Directors.
“Through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States, UNICEF does whatever it takes to save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children. Forty years ago, UNICEF figured out that promoting simple, low-cost interventions like hand washing and breastfeeding could save millions of lives. Undaunted by war or geography, UNICEF delivers,” reads the website.
Some of UNICEF’s efforts include helping children in emergency relief situations including earthquakes and floods, providing clean water and proper nutrition to children in need, and assisting children who have disabilities or have been affected by violence.
4. David’s Father Always Wanted to Be a Professional Baseball Player
David’s dad, Enrique, was just 22 when Ortiz was born and he played amateur baseball in the Dominican Republic as a pitcher, explains Ortiz in an interview with Mass Live.
“He gave up on baseball right when my mom got pregnant with me. 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.”
Ortiz explains his father did keep playing softball afterwards and took Ortiz to the games to watch him play.
He adds that his father really pushed Ortiz to never give up until he made it to the big leagues and won a World Series because he never got to fulfill that dream for himself.
“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. They Run the David Ortiz Children’s Fund
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, David remembers often feeling unsafe with a lot of violence always taking place. He also didn’t always have access to the best nutrition in these poor living conditions and, on a personal level, his parents went through a divorce that was hard on him. He wrote in an article for the Player’s Tribune about his experience of being flagged for steroid use in 2003, even though he claims he never knowingly took steroids. People came to his home in the Dominican Republic during a vacation with his family to test him and after that he had to face a lot of people judging him for being a cheater. He wrote,
Let me tell you about fair. I grew up in a neighborhood where there was a shooting every day. Every single day. I didn’t know if I was going to step outside to go play at the park with a f***ing tape ball and a stick and get shot. I saw people get killed right in front of me. There was a fight in my house pretty much every other day. It was normal. I grew up in a house that didn’t have the luxury of proper nutrition or vitamins. A protein shake? Are you kidding me? The only protein I knew about until I was 16 was frijoles negros. Black beans.
His past influenced David to start The David Ortiz Children’s Fund, with the help of his wife 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.”
Some upcoming events include a celebrity golf classic event in December and putting together a team for the Boston Marathon in April.