PW Annex Reviews
"If you hear something bad about David Ortiz, it's a lie." So says Ortiz's former teammate Torri Hunter, summing up the general consensus on Ortiz, one of baseball's most beloved superstars. With help from Boston Herald columnist Massarotti, Ortiz tells his tale: growing up poor in the Dominican Republic, struggling through the minor leagues in an unfamiliar country and ultimately finding success as a late-inning hero for the Boston Red Sox. Alternating between Massarotti's third-person summaries and Ortiz's first-person accounts, the book paints a portrait of Ortiz as confident and driven, despite the doubt of scouts and managers. Even though he relies on clichés ("Life is unpredictable, bro") and occasionally mismanages a sentence, Ortiz's voice is charming-even glowing-throughout. Ortiz's affability makes the book a quick read, but devoid of dirt or controversy; though he does air grievances toward the Minnesota Twins, who first changed his swing before releasing him, Oritz gives Twins general manager Terry Ryan space to explain his decisions. A good book by a good guy, this will please fans, but won't reveal much they don't already know. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Through an extraordinary ability to perform under pressure, David Ortiz has gone from toting the heavy burden of potential to being one of the most celebrated performers in baseball history.
Along the way, a baseball legend was born: BIG PAPI.
Raised in the Dominican Republic, signed by the Seattle Mariners, and released by the Minnesota Twins, David Ortiz landed in baseball-crazy Boston, of all places. Generally regarded as an underachiever to that point in his career, Ortiz blossomed into one of the most feared and adored sluggers in baseball while altering the course of the game's history, helping Boston win its first World Series in eighty-six years and thereby breaking the infamous "Curse of the Bambino."
Along the way, Ortiz established his place as a truly Ruthian figure in the annals of our national pastime: an imposing figure in the batter's box, yet an endearing man to the young, particularly in his native Dominican Republic, where he has focused his charitable efforts on improving the health of children. The son of two caring parents, and a loving father of three, Ortiz is a hero to many.
Now, in his memoir, the man affectionately known as "Big Papi" recounts his life from growing up in an impoverished area of the Dominican Republic (where baseball is king) to his ascension in Boston (where he became one). Ortiz discusses, in detail, his historic and record-setting performances as a member of the Red Sox, his exploding popularity, the challenges of playing in Boston, and life in the Red Sox clubhouse.
BIG PAPI is a unique memoir by a charismatic man who appeals to young and old, on the baseball field or off.
- (McMillan Palgrave