Big Papi

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21″x35″ Hand Cut, Hand Sewed Felt Appliqué, Fabric Paint

For all that he has accomplished on the lawn at fabled Fenway Park, the most iconic moment of David Ortiz’s career may have come when he was holding not a baseball bat but a microphone. In the immediate aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Ortiz was the face of the Red Sox and the voice of an entire region, the word “Boston” emblazoned on his chest. Ortiz was not merely a player you cheered for. He was a neighbor. He was a father and a husband. He was one of us.

“These jerseys that we’re wearing today, it doesn’t say ‘Red Sox.’ It says ‘Boston,’” Ortiz boomed, standing in the middle of Fenway the Saturday after the bombings. “We want to thank you—Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department—for the great job that you did this past week.

“This is our fucking city—and nobody is going to dictate our freedom,” Ortiz continued, his heartfelt words taking a moment to resonate before inducing wild applause. “Stay strong.”

And with that, David Ortiz cemented his place not solely in the history of the Red Sox, but in the history of Boston.

-Boston Magazine