Tag Archives: Athlete

A Tribute to David “Big Papi” Ortiz


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The Boston Red Sox have been a dynasty in New England ever since their team was created in 1908.  With 13 American League East Championships and 8 World Series Championships under their belt, the Red Sox have proven to be one of the very best in Major League Baseball history.  Even in the wake of such tragedies like 9/ll and the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Red Sox reminds their fans about what’s most important in life.  Playing their hardest in the underdog city of Boston is what the Red Sox do best at every season.

Many Red Sox players come and go every year (either being traded to another team or retiring their number for good).  This year will be David Ortiz’s last season with the Red Sox.  A special pre-game tribute was held before yesterday’s home game, which I actually got to watch first-hand on Saturday.  But before I dive into the pre-game tribute, here are a few tidbits about David Ortiz.

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David Ortiz, also known as “Big Papi”, is one of the most popular players of the Red Sox.  He got his start with the Boston Red Sox by signing a free-agent contract with the team in January 22, 2003.  Ortiz kicked off his first season with 31 home runs, 101 run by innings, and a .288 batting average.  Overall, he placed 5th in the American League MVP voting results.  After completing his first season, he played a major role in leading the Red Sox to their 1st World Series Championship in 2004 and he was also voted for the All-Star team for the first time as well.

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Nowadays, David “Big Papi” Ortiz is a 10-time All-Star with 3 World Series Championships under his belt.  He set the record for most home runs in a single season with 54 total in 2006.  When he isn’t hitting grand slams out of Fenway Park, Big Papi continues hitting home runs with the success of his charity work.  His company is called the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and it was established in 2007.  The program aims to help children in Boston and the Dominican Republic in getting critical pediatric services that they need to survive.  Over hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated towards pediatric services for children living in Boston and the Dominican Republic.

Attending the practice round for the pre-game tribute was an incredible opportunity.  As I stepped out into the cool grass of Fenway Park, I watched as participants gathered to their place for the flag roll ceremony.  Participants were led by John Coyne, the US Flag Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox.  The pre-game tribute flag roll would involve rolling down the Dominican Republic flag down first, then rolling down the American flag afterwards.  Some of the participants would then carry the American flag out onto the field during the national anthems.  It was raining pretty hard during the practice event, but that didn’t stop participants from working hard to perfect the tribute ceremony.

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After watching the practice takes happen a few times, I attended the game on Sunday to see the performance.  Watching the pre-game tribute play out live was spectacular and emotional.  Past Red Sox players like Nomar Garciaparra and Kevin Youkilis made an appearance out on the field, standing by David Ortiz as the pre-game tribute occurred.  It was an awestruck performance like no other and fans were sure to miss David Ortiz after this season.

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This past weekend has been an incredible opportunity to experience.  David Ortiz has been a valuable player for the Boston Red Sox since 2003 and we won’t forget all that he has done for the team.  It may be his last season this year, but the dynasty will still live on in the future.  Hopefully Ortiz’s last season will end with the Red Sox grabbing the World Series Championship this year.

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Watching the performances this weekend made me realize that this ceremony was so much more than about another Red Sox player retiring his jersey.  David Ortiz was a player who peddled the Red Sox into 3 World Series Championships this past decade, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his charity fund, and reminded citizens to take back the city of Boston in a time of uncertainty and fear.  It’s players like David Ortiz who remind us about what Boston is all about and how the city underdogs will always rise to the top.  Boston isn’t a city that cowers to fear after a traumatic event.  With Boston having some of the best sports team in the region, it’s no surprise that Bostonians fight hard for what they want in life.

Rob Gronkowski’s Kanjam Party Slam!


It seems as though Rob Gronkowski’s PR stunts can be heard of everywhere – a party bus, a book, his own flavor of Monster Energy, a photo shoot with cute kittens, and even singing tunes with David Ortiz about Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee.  As one of the most favorable players of the NFL, Gronkowski continues to extend the story of his personal brand.  Earlier he released his Instagram account to connect with millions of his followers on social media.  His next brand story involves a different kind of sport – Kanjam.

That’s right folks!  Rob Gronkowski released his own version of the popular partying game called Kanjam Gronk.  Gronkowski released a Kanjam Gronk game set on the website kamjamgronk.com.  The kanjam Gronk game set features 2 official goals, 2 custom designed Kanjam flying discs, a commemorative Gronk locker nameplate, and instructions for how to play the game.

Kanjam is one of the most popular partying games among college kids in the United States.  The object is to score points by throwing your flying disc and hitting or entering into the goal.  Your opponents will try to deflect the disc from entering the goal.  Players must get exactly 21 points in order to win the game.  Any throw that takes a team over 21 points would be subtracted from their score.

As mentioned earlier, this is just one of many ways Gronkowski’s brand continues to flourish.  He connects with his fans any way possible and now he dipped his toes into one of the most popular party games in America.  Rob Gronkowski is more than just an incredible football player; his ‘box of rocks’ personality makes him one of the most relatable athletes of the NFL.  Whatever stunts he pulls during his off-season schedule, he is sure to reel in another niche audience that will love Gronkowski even more.

Rob Gronkowski continues to be my favorite athlete of the New England Patriots.  Other than being one of the best tight ends of the NFL, his silly antics makes him more than just another great athlete.  While I don’t watch football as much as the next guy, it is always hilarious to watch what Gronkowski does off of the football field.  I am always eager to see what humorous PR stunt Rob Gronkowski will be involved with in the future.  Props to Gronk for branching out his brand into another product line!  If Kanjam was his latest product launch, who knows what’s in store for us Patriots fans?  We’ll just have to sit and wait for the next chapter of Rob Gronkowski’s life.