The New York Times bestselling author and preeminent chronicler of the Boston sports world offers a piercing, in-depth look at veteran Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, the 2013 World Series MVP who is the heart and soul of the organization—and the city of Boston itself.
To Red Sox Nation, no one is more revered than Big Papi: David Ortiz. A man who handles stardom and crushing responsibility with ease, Ortiz has become a symbol of the historic city he plays for—and its moral center. After the 2013 marathon bombing, Ortiz drove Boston into a frenzy when he said, “This is our f**king city . . . we’re not going to let anyone dictate our freedoms.” Even when his remarks are controversial, Ortiz remains wildly popular.
Based on interviews with teammates and rivals, Red Sox executives, and experts in the game, Michael Holley paints a remarkable portrait of this family man, icon, inspirational competitor, and future Hall of Famer who helped lead his team to three World Series titles in a decade. Holley contrasts Ortiz’s relationships with former managers Terry Francona and Bobby Valentine, baseball bigwigs, teammates and rivals, and the fans. Admiring yet hard-hitting, Holley examines both Ortiz’s controversies and his successes, including his 2009 positive test for performance enhancing drugs and his role in healing a traumatized city.
As Holley reveals, clutch players do exist: Few in major league baseball have the power that executives covet, the makeup to handle the intense spotlight, and the ability to excel in pressure situations like Ortiz. Thoughtful and insightful, Ortiz now brings him into focus as never before.
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MICHAEL HOLLEY is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Patriot Reign, Never Give Up (with Tedy Bruschi), and Red Sox Rule. He was a Boston Globe sportswriter for ten years, and he is the cohost of The Big Show on Boston sports radio station WEEI. Holley lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife and two sons.
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