David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox retired 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 made 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.
David is married to his 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:
1. They Have Three Children
Tiffany and David Ortiz have three kids, teenage daughters Jessica and Alexandra and son D’Angelo.
David explained that he got a lot of his parenting techniques from his father, who still worries about his son even though he is an adult himself.
“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 Ortiz said in an interview with Mass Live.
2. They Separated in 2013 & 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 together; they had 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.Hopefully everybody respects that,” David Ortiz said.
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 Ortiz also asked for privacy for his family, especially his three children, and said the separation was amicable.
The Boston Herald reported that David and Tiffany Ortiz were back together in June 2014. According to her, it was because they missed each other too much. She also said that things were “better than ever.”
3. She Is on the New England Board of Directors for UNICEF
Tiffany Ortiz stays at home with the couple’s children, which David Ortiz claims is something they both wanted in order 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,” David Ortiz said.
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 organization’s website.
Some of UNICEF’s efforts include helping children in emergency relief situations, providing clean water and proper nutrition to children in need, and assisting children who have disabilities or have been affected by violence.
4. David Ortiz’s Father Always Wanted to Be a Professional Baseball Player
David’s father, Enrique Ortiz, was just 22 when David was born. He played amateur baseball, as a pitcher, in the Dominican Republic, David Ortiz explained 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,” David Ortiz said.
He explained his father kept playing softball after his birth and took him to the games to watch him play.
David Ortiz added that his father really pushed him 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.
5. They Run the David Ortiz Children’s Fund
David Ortiz didn’t have the easiest childhood. He recalled growing up in the Dominican Republic and often feeling unsafe, with constant violence occurring. He didn’t always have access to the best nutrition 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 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.
“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,” he wrote.
His past influenced him 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.”
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