Ortiz was born on November 18, 1975, in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, He is the oldest of four children. His parents are Enrique Ortiz and Ángela Rosa Arias. Ortiz graduated from Estudia Espaillat High School in the Dominican Republic, He played baseball and basketball there.
WHO DRAFTED DAVID ORTIZ ?
On November 28, 1992, Ortiz was signed by the Mariners. He made his professional debut in 1994 for the Mariners of the Arizona League, batting later he was promoted to the Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League, Despite a productive year in the Mariners' system, on September 13, 1996, Ortiz was traded to the Minnesota Twins. Ortiz did great while playing in the Twins system in 1997. Though he started with the High-A Fort Myers Miracle, he quickly progressed through Double-A to the Triple-A and at the three levels he combined to hit .317 with 31 home runs and 124 RBI, this resulted in him getting a call-up to the Twins' MLB club.
DAVID ORTIZ’S MLB JOURNEY
Ortiz made his MLB debut for the Twins in September 1997 and played in 15 games that month, batting .327 in 49 at-bats. He hit his first major league home run against the Texas Rangers in September. In 1998, Ortiz entered the season with intentions of playing as the regular first baseman, batting .306 before fracturing his wrist and going on the disabled list. He then returned to the Twins in July and played for the Triple-A team and finished the season with them. In 1999, he was sent down to the Triple-A Salt Lake Buzz. Ortiz crushed the minor league pitching. In 1999, Ortiz again earned a call-up. By 2000, the Twins had three consecutive seasons of over 90 losses, by June 2000 he finally established himself as a regular and played as a DH.
On September 7, he hit his first major league grand slam at Fenway Park against his own idol, Ramón Martínez. Ortiz began the 2001 season as the regular DH and started the year strong, for the first time in years, the Twins were a contender with major credits belonging to Ortiz's hitting. However, another wrist fracture put him back on the disabled list. At the end of the season, Twins manager Tom Kelly retired, and Ron Gardenhire took his place. The offseason proved very difficult for Ortiz as he lost his mother in a car accident.
In the next season, he battled knee injuries but after the All-Star break, he quietly switched it all up. Twins qualified for the postseason but later lost the ALCS to the Angels. The Twins decided to release Ortiz as a cost-cutting move. After his release from the Twins, Ortiz met with Pedro Martínez at a restaurant in the Dominican Republic who convinced his team staff to sign Ortiz to the Red Sox, and on January 22, Ortiz signed a non-guaranteed free-agent contract with the Red Sox that was worth $1.25 million if he made the team which he did. The New Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein envisioned Ortiz as one of several candidates to fill a void at first base. He hit his first home run with his new team on April 27 at Anaheim.
After hitting .299 with 10 home runs in the season's first half but still not getting good playing time Ortiz became frustrated, and then Pedro Martínez asked manager Grady Little to ensure Ortiz always be in the lineup when he was pitching. Later he added his first walk-off homer as a Red Sox on September 23, against the Orioles. He finished that season with 31 home runs, 101 RBI, and a .288 average and the Red Sox qualified for the postseason. In the postseason, Ortiz struggled until Game 4, when he hit a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning. In Game 1 of the AL Championship Series against the rival New York Yankees, he hit his first career postseason home run. But the Red Sox blew their lead.
In the offseason, Ortiz was eligible for salary arbitration once again, but the Red Sox agreed with him on a $4.6 million salary for the 2004 season, Once the 2004 season started, he picked up right where he left off and went on to bat .304 with 23 home runs and 78 RBI in the season's first half, he was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and hit a long home run in the ASG. In the 2004 postseason, Ortiz took his game to the next level. Ortiz registered multiple game-winning hits to help the Red Sox advance through the rounds. Ortiz batting .387 with three home runs and 11 RBI in the series earned him AL Championship Series MVP honors in the 2004 World Series vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2005, Ortiz set new career highs with 47 home runs and 148 RBI, and that year the led the American League in RBI, he was named an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award. That same year, Ortiz won his first Hank Aaron Award. On April 10, the Red Sox announced Ortiz signed a 4-year contract extension with the team.
Ortiz finished the 2006 regular season with a career-high 54 homers and made a Boston new Red Sox record. He also had 137 RBIs. In 2007, Ortiz led the Red Sox to their seventh World Series title by batting .370 with three home runs and 10 RBI and sweeping the Rockies to win their second World Series Championship in four years. In 2008, Ortiz started slowly after suffering a wrist injury which caused him to miss several weeks but was again elected as an All-Star. Ortiz struggled in the 2009 season. He won the Home Run Derby contest in the 2010 All-Star Break.
In 2011, Ortiz batter .309 with 29 home runs and 96 RBI and also earned his fifth Silver Slugger Award. On October 20, MLB announced that Ortiz was the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award. 2012 began like Ortiz had his sights set on the MVP trophy but on July 16, Ortiz suffered an injury to his right Achilles tendon and was placed on the DL in July, he finished that season playing only 90 games. With free agency coming up, Ortiz and the Red Sox agreed to a two-year, $26 million contract. Ortiz bounced back from his injury to post a strong 2013 season as he took the Red Sox to a first-place finish in the AL East. During the regular season, he hit 30 home runs and had 103 RBIs. In the postseason, Ortiz leads the Red Sox to a World Series championship. In the World Series against the Cardinals, the Red Sox won the series and Ortiz won the World Series MVP Award.
In March 2014, Ortiz signed a one-year, $16 million contract extension for 2015. Ortiz was selected as one of Boston’s "Franchise Four.” He went on to hit 38 home runs—the most ever hit by a player in the final season of his career. On November 18, 2015, his 40th birthday, Ortiz announced on the website The Players' Tribune that he would retire after the 2016 season.He also joined Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as only the third player in MLB history with at least 500 career home runs and 600 career doubles. Ortiz's play in the season was enough to get the Red Sox into the postseason, but they were swept by the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. After the loss at Fenway Park, Ortiz came out and saluted the Boston fans indicating that he was done, before leaving the field.
"It gives me goosebumps because as a kid, it's like these guys in this room, you look at them and you're like wow" - Boston Red Sox legend Big Papi tours the Baseball Hall of Fame ahead of his scheduled induction