By Barry Janoff
September 23, 2016: Among the gifts that David “Big Papi” Ortiz has received in the final season of what has been a 20-year career are the actual dugout phone he smashed in Camden Yards in 2013 (Baltimore Orioles), a custom-made black Stetson cowboy hat (Houston Astros), a hand-made humidor with 50 Dominican cigars (Chicago White Sox), contributions to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and a life-size stature made with Legos (Boston Red Sox).
Now add to the treasure trove a multi-language tribute from MLB featuring former teammate Pedro Martinez and actor Ben Affleck.
“Thank You, Big Papi” will break this week and air in both Hispanic (narrated by Martinez) and English (Affleck), showing Ortiz in action and interacting with players and fans on and off the field.
The 30-second spots highlight many of the classic moments in Ortiz’ career, including World Series wins, game-winning hits and his rallying the people in Fenway Park in the aftermath of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon in 2013.
Both spots are played out to “I Will Never Let You Down” sung by Rita Ora.
“For all the big moments,” offers Affleck. “The big blasts. The big smile. The big heart. Thanks, Big Papi. You’re not walking away. You’re walking off.” (See the full spot here.)
Martinez does his voiceover in Spanish. (See the full spot here.)
The promotional spots will be distributed on digital/social platforms and premiere during national broadcasts this weekend. They will also be featured during Boston’s celebration of Ortiz next weekend at Fenway Park, his final regualr-season games.
Ortiz, who played with the Minnesota Twins from 1997-2002 and the Red Sox from 2003 through 2016, has 36 home runs this season to date, most among players in their final season and most among players 40 or older.
“I’m watching him now and I’m thinking, Why are you retiring?,” said Cal Ripken Jr. who had his own farewell tour in 2001 and is now an analyst for MLB on TBS, which will cover Ortiz and the Red Sox in the upcoming playoffs. “He has a lot left in the tank. But physically, I’m sure it’s wearing him down. But I’d be surprised if he wasn’t an integral part of Boston’s playoffs.”
Back to Home Page