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December 14, 2023 36 mins

MLB Hall of Famer David Ortiz will always be known as “Big Papi” to Boston Red Sox fans, but the now-retired slugger is content to simply be “dad” these days. Ortiz’s son D’Angelo Ortiz is currently chasing his own dreams of baseball stardom, playing for Miami-Dade College.

 

“Heart of the Game” host Jon Frankel talks to the Ortiz boys about their shared passion for baseball and the challenge of growing up in the shadow of a legend. Also, learn how a chance hospital visit sparked David Ortiz’s ongoing campaign to help sick children. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:02):
In the game of life, Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and
nurturing meaningful connections with family can be among the most
formidable challenges we face.

Speaker 2 (00:11):
The Rishucks having one and wars series in the eighty
six year, we did something basically impossible coming back from
being old and three against the Yankees.

Speaker 1 (00:21):
Yet for many professional athletes, fostering both has proven to
be a triumphant recipe for success.

Speaker 3 (00:27):
Baseball's leg Lessons I asked him why he did this
and that, and that's when he was like, Hey, when
anybody this respection, you don't let it fly.

Speaker 1 (00:36):
I'm John Frankel. For the past two decades, I've traveled
the globe covering some of the most impactful human interest
stories in sports. On this show, I'm sitting down with
some of the biggest families in the game, the legends,
current superstars, and the up and coming playmakers to understand
what's really making them tech. What can pro athlete families

(00:57):
teach a new generation about the importance of caring for
your health and finding success in the face of adversity. Together,
we'll hear stories of their remarkable comebacks, setbacks, and the
crucial role their family and self care played. In their
paths to championship glory.

Speaker 4 (01:13):
This is part of the game.

Speaker 1 (01:19):
David Ortiz is one of the most beloved players in
baseball history. His twenty year career was defined by clutch hits,
colossal home runs, and a general love of the game
that was infectious. In two thousand and four, Big Poppy
helped undo the curse of the Bambino and then the
Boston Red sox eighty six year championship drought. During his
fourteen seasons with the Red Sox, he would lead Boston

(01:41):
to three World Series titles. He also made ten All
Star teams on his way to becoming one of the
most beloved players to ever suit up in New England.
And here's David Ortiz to see that number today with
three hnds this two before, good guys, it sounds you.

(02:04):
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in
twenty twenty two thanks to career stats including five hundred
and forty one home runs and one seven hundred and
sixty eight runs batted in. Now, his son DiAngelo is
following his dad into the family business. Okay, on bitch's
to deep.

Speaker 5 (02:25):
Firm sons.

Speaker 1 (02:29):
Like his dad, DiAngelo swings hard and smiles wide. He
welcomes the attention and pressure that comes with being the
son of a baseball icon. As he currently plays for
Miami Dade College. He probably needs absolutely no introduction. If
I just say, Big Poppy, you know who you're talking about.

(02:51):
It's David Ortiz, the Hall of Famer from the Boston
Red Sox, joined by his son Di'angelo Ortiz. He's also
playing college baseball now, So guys, thank you very much
for joining us.

Speaker 4 (03:01):
David.

Speaker 1 (03:01):
Do you like to go by Big Poppy or David?
I don't mind, don't better either way, DiAngelo, Since you
were young and watching your dad play and going to
the ballpark often, at what age were you when you
realized who your dad really was.

Speaker 5 (03:17):
I would say it was weird because I'll go to
the field with him every day.

Speaker 3 (03:21):
So I just thought that, you know, maybe not everybody
was a baseball player, but people love this guy. And
I think a lot of people think that being you know,
a baseball player, you go play baseball and then people
know you. But I'm going to the field with him
seeing every day, you know, the things that he's doing,
the things he has to do for you know, his
body for his routine.

Speaker 5 (03:39):
So I never thought like he's some different type of person.
I just thought he was really hard, so people love
him for that.

Speaker 1 (03:47):
The fact is many people may not know this is
that your dad wasn't always big poppy. In fact, when
he's signed just a few days after turning age seventeen
out of the Dominican, he's signed by the Seattle Mariners,
and they actually listen him as David Arius because they
make some confusion between his maternal family name and his

(04:07):
paternal family name. And it's not until David you get
traded to Minnesota in ninety six that they actually attach
ortease to your name, right.

Speaker 4 (04:17):
That's right.

Speaker 2 (04:18):
The thing is that in the Dominican we have two
first name and two last names, and your birth certificate
they give you your mom and dad last name. That's different,
different name up here here, you just get your dad
last name obviously. So everybody started calling me by my

(04:40):
mom last name, which is Arius, because it was the
last name under certificate. Like my name is David America
or DS Arias. So everybody started calling me David Arias
and I was like whatever, you know. I was okay,
I don't really pay But as the times start going

(05:01):
by and they realized my dad last name is Ortez,
and then they fix it.

Speaker 1 (05:08):
So you go from being David Areas when you're in
the minor leagues with Seattle to David Ortiz when you
become a major leaguer in Minnesota too, when you get
to Boston and you become big Poppy. How do you
become big poppy?

Speaker 5 (05:24):
Well calling everybody poppy, that's right, that's right.

Speaker 2 (05:27):
He knows I'm terrible. I remember his people's name, like
I might be the worst on earth. Like I feel
bad for that because the thing is that I miss
so many people in a different type of area on
a daily basis.

Speaker 4 (05:39):
It's just crazy.

Speaker 2 (05:40):
So for example, the other day was my birthday and
I received like fourteen hundred message and I still answering
text messages from people, you know, Like I just copy
and forward because it made me happy and at the
same time made me feel bad because most of the
people that are sending me text me, I don't even
know when their birthday is. I had no clue, you know,

(06:02):
Like I would like to say happy birthday to them,
But how can I keep on with all that? Like
like that's something to go against being a celebrity. You
know what I'm saying.

Speaker 1 (06:11):
I get it. So, just for the record, I'm John,
but you can call me Poppy.

Speaker 4 (06:15):
Okay, Yeah, there you go. That's right. You just make
it easier for me.

Speaker 1 (06:19):
I just make it it. Just call me Poppy. Big
Poppy learned the game as a youngster in Santa Domingo
in the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean island nation that has
produced more current Major League players than any country besides
the US. Do you remember how old you were when

(06:39):
you first picked up a bat and swung at a baseball?

Speaker 4 (06:43):
That was like seven?

Speaker 2 (06:45):
You know, in the Dominican we have three kings day,
where as a child, your parents always get your toys
and stuff like that. And one of the toys it
was a plastic baseball bat and a glove. That's one
of the toys that I can remember that my dad
emphasized on when I was a kid.

Speaker 4 (07:04):
And that is something that I had to clear on
my mind since when it happens.

Speaker 1 (07:09):
Your dad was a professional baseball player in the Dominican Republic, right.

Speaker 2 (07:13):
No, he was about to be professional by back in
the Dominican back in those days and his days as
a player it was extremely hard to sign as a
pro where he was really good.

Speaker 4 (07:24):
He was a pitcher.

Speaker 2 (07:25):
He always had that dream about him being a Major
League baseball player or one of his kids.

Speaker 1 (07:33):
I've been to the Dominican Republic. I've been to San
Patrio de Macres and to some of the other locations
where the Major League Baseball teams have their facilities for
players who are coming up. And so we all know
that baseball in the Dominican Republic is kind of like
a glove to a hand. It's one and the same.

Speaker 4 (07:51):
That's right.

Speaker 1 (07:52):
You played a little basketball when you were younger, But
was it obvious? Was it absolutely essential that you would
play baseball and you had the same so many other
Dominicans to make it to Major League Baseball.

Speaker 2 (08:03):
Well, to be honest with you and my case, I
was more into basketball because it was more fun than
baseball what I used to play boat. But my dad,
he always thought that I had the ability to be
a good baseball player. So he basically was the one
who emphasize on me chasing more of the baseball thing

(08:25):
than basketball. And you know, at some point I just
did the crossover and extremely fall in love with baseball.

Speaker 1 (08:36):
DiAngelo do you share that same passion for the game
that your dad has exhibited over his career.

Speaker 3 (08:42):
If I'm being honest, I feel like the love I
have for baseball is not really relatable because I grew
up in baseball where like that was my childhood. I
had no other like, yeah, I at school, you know,
my friends, but it was one to the field every
day with my dad.

Speaker 5 (08:58):
So you get into the game for different reasons.

Speaker 3 (09:01):
He obviously was a big basketball guy when he was younger,
and I've always been a baseball guy.

Speaker 1 (09:06):
I guess it came to you pretty naturally your love
for the game. Did actually playing the game the skills
of baseball come to you pretty naturally, I would say
before you answer, your dad might have a different opinion,
so be careful. You know.

Speaker 3 (09:20):
Actually, if I'm being honest, he might say that I
play the game naturally. But if you ask me, I
would say that I've had to put in a lot
of work to feel as comfortable as I feel playing,
And I don't feel like just because you know your
dad played means that you're gonna feel comfortable in that field.

Speaker 4 (09:37):
You know what?

Speaker 2 (09:37):
I would say this about thee he always had that
love for baseball since he was a kid. But we
used to live in Boston, and Boston because of the weather,
you can play all year around, and I remember deciding
to move down to Florida right after I've retired so
he can play baseball year round, because the only way

(09:59):
you can became to be a professional baseball player, it's
playing all year round. You can just play six months
and then forget about it in the other other six months.

Speaker 1 (10:07):
So once we make that move, then he got more
familiar with the game. So that leads me to this.
There is often a question of any parent and their
child about putting pressure on them, encouraging them, pushing them
to play a sport, whatever it is. Now, you're this
Hall of Famer, former Major League Baseball player, and you

(10:28):
just acknowledge that you make a deliberate move to a
warm weather location like Miami so that your son can
pursue it. Did you see it as pressuring him to
play matter at all?

Speaker 2 (10:40):
I always go through the floor, you know, I always
let them do whatever they feel like, because at the
end of the day, my dad, basically he pushed me,
but in a good type of way. I didn't feel
any pressure coming from him. He just know that I
had the talent and he just wanted to fall in love.
Once I fall in love with that game, I never
let go because I found a way for the game

(11:02):
to be fun to me. But at the same time,
it was a way out for me and my family.
So it was pressure where it wasn't because I grew
up in a different type of environment. It was tougher
than just going out there and playing baseball. And at
the end of the day, it was like like the
perfect combination for me. If my kids' case, they grew

(11:23):
up in a different environment, I just kind of figured
what their abilities are and I was just going from there,
like I haven't really pushed and I just watch and
let them do their thing, and whenever they need hell,
we anything. I just you know, we discussed them, but
at the end of the day, they wanted. It's not

(11:44):
like I had nothing I had to do with them
following love.

Speaker 4 (11:48):
With the game.

Speaker 1 (11:49):
D Angelo, do you agree you have not felt pressured?

Speaker 4 (11:52):
No, not at all.

Speaker 3 (11:53):
I feel that he did his job when I was
a kid, when he was bringing me to the field
every day, and I feel like, you know, with the
amount that I wants I feel with him is impossible,
not as a fall in love with the game.

Speaker 1 (12:04):
If you haven't felt the pressure to pursue baseball and
now play it at the college level, how much pressure
do you put on yourself and with the expectations of
those from the outside looking in, how much pressure is
there for you to make it to the major leagues.

Speaker 4 (12:21):
That's a good question.

Speaker 3 (12:23):
I feel like everybody has pressure. You know, my dad's
pressure when he was my age was helping your family out.
My thing is additional having forum playing baseball, and you know,
whatever comes when it comes with it. But everybody has pressure.
Even the guys I play with to this day, you
can see them put pressure on themselves in different type
of ways.

Speaker 5 (12:40):
So it's all about what you put on yourself.

Speaker 1 (12:42):
I feel absolutely David, you reacted to when I talked
about expectations from outsiders. Is there too much pressure because
he carries the Ortiz name because of your career. Is
it unfair to expect that he's going to do everything
and accomplish everything in the game of baseball that you did.

Speaker 2 (13:01):
It's unfair, But at the same time, he's facing reality.
Some guys start facing reality down the road because they
don't care my last name it's a different type of pressure.
Matter of fact, even the way the guy approached him
when he's hitting is different than everybody else because of
the last name that he carried. And I see that,

(13:23):
But at the same time, I think he had done
a pretty good joe handling business.

Speaker 5 (13:28):
You know.

Speaker 2 (13:29):
The Angel is the kind of guy that he cared
about everybody. He's very mature, and that's a young kid. Sometimes.
I remember he used to come to me, it's way
better right now. But when he was even younger that
he was playing basement in some field and somebody was
trash talking to him. We couldn't understand why was that happening,
Because he don't see people approaching the other kids the

(13:50):
same way. And he always had a questions for me,
asking me that why do you do that?

Speaker 4 (13:56):
What is so mean? Why do they do this?

Speaker 2 (13:58):
And now I just laugh and I'd be like, hey, look,
you better get used to me. And if you want
to be a baseball player, because that's part of a sport,
you know, and you need to learn how to separate
that from how you want to focus and go about
the business, you know, because when you play in front
of forty thousand people, you're gonna hit a lot of

(14:18):
thrush talk, and at the end of the day, when
you are playing, you focus, don't let you even listen
to any of it. That's how it went down, you know.
I mean I play in places where everybody was creaming
at you, and then all of a sudden, everybody got
quiet because you never let you focus go away, and
then you got the job done, you know what I'm saying.

Speaker 4 (14:38):
So that's part of the game. That's a fair game.

Speaker 2 (14:42):
The opposition always want to call you attention and try
to distract you so something can happen, so they can
end up winning. It's all up to you if you
want to let that navigate.

Speaker 1 (14:55):
I'm sure you talk about a lot of things. Father
and son just naturally is the defaul old conversation between
you DiAngelo and your dad? Is it baseball? How often
do you talk the game and the specifics of the game.

Speaker 5 (15:08):
We we listen, We we talked about.

Speaker 3 (15:12):
That's because and our whole family we're very big on, like,
you know, having fun, but also getting what you need
to get done.

Speaker 4 (15:20):
So like for me is baseball.

Speaker 3 (15:21):
So when he calls me, he's making sure, you know,
I get all my baseball stuff done. And I always
have questions for him. But at the same time, you know,
there's certain periods where like you have to be able
to like just have the mind stop thinking about baseball,
just rest.

Speaker 5 (15:35):
But for me, that's really hard. So that's what our
conversations are about.

Speaker 1 (15:39):
What are the things that he talks to you about,
What are the pointers that he specifically gives you.

Speaker 3 (15:45):
With how I'm going about things now, just you know,
baseball being it feels like every minute of my life
there's just control what you can control. Like, obviously you
need to have fun and enjoy the process, but things
that come in a month from not even a week
from not don't even think of those because the point
of baseball is to you know, be focused, have fun,
and take it day by day because every day can

(16:06):
be so different.

Speaker 2 (16:08):
It's a blessing when you kids listen to you and
trusts you. And this young man right here we are homies.

Speaker 4 (16:17):
You know. I don't treat him just like he's my son.
I tream like a friend.

Speaker 2 (16:21):
I treat him like a brother, and he trusts me
on everything, and that to me as a parents is
something that gave me a lot of peace.

Speaker 1 (16:33):
When we return David Ortiz recalls a terrifying moment from
DiAngelo's childhood and how years later it would help inspire
him to a greater purpose be on baseball.

Speaker 2 (16:45):
I was on the wrong way on the airplane with
the team, and his mom called me that he just
got a seizure. And when I saw you that they
pull you out of the ambulance with all this thing. Man,
I'm telling you, that was one of the most critical
moments in my life.

Speaker 1 (16:59):
Part of the game.

Speaker 4 (17:00):
We'll be right back.

Speaker 1 (17:09):
And now back to part of the game. After starting
his career with the Seattle Mariners and then the Minnesota Twins,
Ortiz made his way to Boston and would eventually take
over the city. The baseball crazy town fell in love
with this larger than life personality who delivered big hits
for the Red Sox over and over and help reverse

(17:32):
the long suffering franchise's fortunes. In two thousand and four,
he and his teammates ended the team's nearly ninety year
World Series drought in one of the most improbable comebacks
in sports history. David, you get to Boston, things click.
You all of a sudden become this incredible clutch hitter.
You help the Red Sox break this curse of eighty

(17:52):
six years. You win three World Series two thousand and four,
the first one breaking the Curse of the Bambino. You
win again in two thousand and seven and twenty thirteen.
Is two thousand and four. The one that really sticks
out to you because you helped break the curse and
because of what you guys did to the Yankees in
the American League Championship Series, being the only team ever

(18:15):
to come back from a three to zero deficit, you
have to be.

Speaker 2 (18:19):
Especially the way everything went down the team having won
the Wars Series in eighty six years. We did something
basically impossible coming back from being olden three against the Yankees.
The whole nation was like it was like a movie.
I remember they were should in a movie on Fangway.

(18:40):
I think it was what was the name of the
movie that they were Shouldn't have fanway. They had to
change the script of the movie because we end up
winning the one.

Speaker 1 (18:47):
With Fever Pitch Fever Pitch with Jimmy Fallon and Drew
Barrymore Yeah with fond Yeah. Well you're pretty much know.
The rest or Kay is an extra innings Bye Bye
Band being Washington, right, Socks won the pennant.

Speaker 4 (19:01):
So what am I saying?

Speaker 2 (19:02):
The end of the movie wasn't supposed to be did?
It was gonna be different. It was gonna be like
a fan always pecting the rest so ofs to win,
but we never win and because we won't and then
they change the script. You know what I'm saying? It
was remarkable, Well we did that year? How changed so
many things around the New England area.

Speaker 1 (19:24):
Even if you weren't a baseball fan, people knew what
was going on between the Yankees and the Red Sox,
in part because it was the rivalry of the Yankees
and the Red Sox.

Speaker 4 (19:32):
Absolutely there is I.

Speaker 1 (19:34):
Don't know if bad blood is the way to put it.
And you might have a different perspective today than you
did back then with all this time that has passed.
But listen, there was Jeter and there was a Rod
and you know there was friction. How did that relationship evolve?
And that your friends today? But I'm assuming you were
pretty bitter rivals back then.

Speaker 2 (19:55):
You know what, I guess when it comes down to it,
I'm very special because I only look at them as
a rival when I was at the plate, when it
was my time to perform. Other than that, they were
friends to me. They were people that I have a
lot of respect for them. When those bro happens on

(20:16):
the field, I was always down with trying to not
overdo things because to me, fighting on the field, I
never look at that like it's something that we should do.

Speaker 1 (20:26):
Wasn't part of the game for you, wasn't part of.

Speaker 4 (20:29):
The game for me.

Speaker 1 (20:30):
I was the guy that I played the game with
a lot of pride.

Speaker 2 (20:34):
I won the kids that were watching to once they
go home, they had a good impression about what we
do on the field. The adult they don't look at
it that way. It's always something, but I don't care
what the adult think of. My focus was on this
guy's making sure that they were impressed by what we

(20:57):
do on the field. So we have many broad and
I never really agree with those broad or being out
there acting like we were in a WWF or something
like that. You know, I want to make sure that
anybody was taken care of. I want to make sure
that things comes down because we wasn't there for that.
We was there to play baseball. Listen, the only time

(21:18):
I remember that I fired on the field, it wasn't
even against the Yankees. It was against Baltimore because I
was facing the guy, good guy, good guy.

Speaker 3 (21:28):
You know.

Speaker 1 (21:28):
Oh, yes, you're talking about that scuffle with the Whales
pitcher Kevin Gregg.

Speaker 4 (21:32):
That's right.

Speaker 2 (21:33):
And he was the type of pitcher that he liked
to stay away from me, and he kind of he
was trying to hit me in three occasions in the
Sina Bad and he miss out. And by the third time,
I was like, this guy is trying to hit me.
So I basically point out and I was like, hey,
you miss the opportunity, because if a guy hit you,

(21:55):
I mean, how can you miss this?

Speaker 4 (21:57):
I know you know what I'm saying.

Speaker 1 (22:00):
When you say this, you're referencing to the size of
your body.

Speaker 6 (22:03):
That's right, Like seriously, on sixth three, two sixty, I mean,
I'm a big boy, and features what they work on
is hitting their target.

Speaker 4 (22:13):
He miss me three times.

Speaker 2 (22:15):
By the third time, I'm like, Okay, that's enough, man,
you missed the opportunity. He had no reason to hit me.
But the manager we never have any conversation, but I
don't think he agreed with the way I used to
whoop his ass, and uh, he sent the guy to
hit me. The angel like that, you know, you know
I'm a trash talk. He knows that when I get going,
I get going. So he sent the guy to him me.

(22:39):
He miss me three times. By the third time, I
was like, hey, you missed the opportunity, so let's go. Yes,
So the bench kind of entered out. Everybody went back
and I have met on third and I was three old,
and I remember Tito Francona, who was my manager at
the time. He went like, this win the best in

(23:00):
the back. So the guy throw me a fastball. It
wasn't a stride, it was like kind of in and
I swing at it. I hit a fly boat to
center field. And when I hits it, the picture was
screaming at me all kinds of stuff, and I was like,
that said, no, not at my house.

Speaker 5 (23:18):
Three to zero pitch, David lifts it in the air
to shallow right.

Speaker 4 (23:23):
Oh, Wheen's going out.

Speaker 5 (23:25):
It's time to fight.

Speaker 2 (23:28):
Then I went and charged him. That was the only
time I remember charging somebody in baseball. But other than that,
I was I was always trying to get it. Turned
it into a life lesson.

Speaker 3 (23:38):
Right after the game, he walked out and I said,
I asked him why he did that or this and that.

Speaker 5 (23:45):
I was like why why? And that's when he told me.
He was like, hey, when anybody, anybody disrespection, you don't
let it fly.

Speaker 4 (23:55):
No, you don't let it fly.

Speaker 5 (23:56):
Baseball's life lessons.

Speaker 4 (23:57):
That's right, when it comes down to baseball, that's wonderful.

Speaker 1 (24:00):
I say, I hear a book or a TV show
with the Ortiz gentlemen of you know, Baseball's life lessons.
David Ortiz's Hall of Fame career is filled with highlights
from his fourteen seasons with the Boston Red Sox, including
one that has little to do with baseball. In two
thousand and seven, he launched the nonprofit David Ortiz Children's

(24:22):
Fund to raise awareness about heart disease and early detection intervention.
Since his retirement in twenty sixteen, he's been able to
focus on the fund, which helps children in the Dominican
Republic and the Boston area who need critical heart care
surgeries but can't afford it. Thanks to the effort of
Ortiz and others, the foundation has raised nearly ten million

(24:43):
dollars to help these kids. So there's a lot of kids,
thousands of kids who beyond your own family you've helped.

Speaker 2 (24:52):
Why was that so important to you? Well, I'd remember
a friend of mine from back home. He show up
on a day at my house. Why I wasn't the
Dominican at the time, and Sunday to me are very
important because that's a family day. And he show up
and he was like, Hey, I want to take you
to a place to show you something. And I'm like,

(25:13):
can we do that tomorrow because today Sunday and I
got to do things with my family. Like, it's only
going to take you five minutes.

Speaker 4 (25:21):
You know. It's a good friend of mine. And I
was like, okay, let's go.

Speaker 2 (25:24):
So he took me to this one hospital where two
kids they were on a bus surgery open her surgery.
But one of them was this one age at the
time when I went, he was four years old. This
was four at the time. And when I saw that,
that broke my heart because that kid, his family basically

(25:44):
brought him to the hospital to die because they have
many kids and they can afford to spend the money
on that they spend on the other kids, to just
burning on one child that needed certain.

Speaker 4 (26:00):
They were in a tough spot, and I was like,
this is not fair.

Speaker 2 (26:04):
I had kids, and I can imagine like this guy
I was on the wrong way on the airplane with
the team and his mom called me that he just
got a seizure. When they were going on the way home.
I jump off the plane. We were going to Seattle
from Boston, and I was like, I see you guys.
Whenever I got to go and take out my kids,
my family, I always have been very protected with my

(26:26):
family and with my kids, like I got no limits.
My kids are my priority. And when I saw you
that they pull you out of the ambulance with all
this thing. Man, I'm telling you, that was one of
the most critical moment in my life, you know, just
seeing one of my kids like that. So going back

(26:46):
to the conversation at the hospital, when I saw this
kid by your age going through all the stuff, I
start bowling. I don't even know what happened to me
at the moment, because I feel like I was this
kid parent, you know, and I told them, hey, look,
I'm gonna do whatever it takes to come back with
some money to help you guys here, because it was

(27:09):
like in an empty place. A lot of kids need
do surgery, but nobody can afford to pay for so
I remember I started doing things in Boston to the decision.
I raised like two hundred grand and I took them
down there by my team, who you know, helped me
out with pretty much everything. They came out with the
idea or put it together a foundation, and they thought

(27:31):
it was going to work out better, you know, we
would receive more fund to help out more children. And
to the day today we have provided more than fourteen
hundred I like serving hard surgery and we have additionally
help out over fifteen thousand kids that they have been

(27:51):
benefit from the foundation somehow, some way.

Speaker 4 (27:55):
And to me, those are my biggest on.

Speaker 1 (27:57):
Runs next Treamentu's bigger than your home runs.

Speaker 4 (28:00):
That is right, That's the way I always look at him.

Speaker 1 (28:03):
It sounds like incredible work that you've done there and
the opportunity that you've provided and the life saving measures
that you've provided. I think you've raised nearly ten million
dollars in your efforts to help all these children.

Speaker 2 (28:16):
Yeah, we up to eleven million, and our goal this
year is to raise another one point four so we
can get another two hundred and eighty plus kids.

Speaker 4 (28:26):
We can get the surgery done. And yeah, we're doing
awesome man.

Speaker 2 (28:30):
I mean the support from everybody, from the fans, from
the celebrity, the team that we had to put the
event together.

Speaker 4 (28:37):
I mean, he has been unbelievable.

Speaker 2 (28:39):
I want to let you guys know that my man
ting Wayfield, who just passed away, always was a big
part of this foundation. Combined with his wife and kids,
he was always supporting he throughout the years. He held
me out so much to raise fun I'm telling you,

(28:59):
like the things that he did, helped over fifty kids
to get their surgery done through the other years, and
unfortunately we ended losing my man like a month ago.
This man was one of the best human being that
I have made in my life and we're always going
to try to continue doing this to keep.

Speaker 4 (29:20):
Up with legacy.

Speaker 1 (29:22):
Very nice, Sorry for your loss.

Speaker 4 (29:24):
Thank you.

Speaker 1 (29:25):
You helped all these children with heart surgeries and in
other ways that you also have your own history of
some heart issues. I don't know where that stands now,
but you had some heart palpitations during your career at
one point, is that right?

Speaker 2 (29:39):
Yes, I used to drink a lot of caffeine at
the beginning when I got to the Red Sox, and
then at some point I was having like some irregular
herbyt and we went to Japan to play over there,
and I was drinking cafeine to catch up with the time,
because remember when we had to play over, there was

(30:00):
the time for me to be sleeping. So trying to
wake up and catch up with the time. I drink
some cafe and the regular heartbeating pop up. And I
was lucky enough that I went to the doctor. They
take care of me. But since that time, I start
taking energy drinks and all this stuff, and uh, I'm good,

(30:20):
like I never had a bye bye. To be realistic,
the heart is something that to me is very important.
How do you stay in shape today? What's your routine?

Speaker 5 (30:29):
Like?

Speaker 2 (30:30):
Well, like I travel a lot, I work a lot,
but when i'm home, I ride bikes. There's a huge
part right in front of where I live, so I
do a lot of walking because, like you say, you're
not burning calorie like you used to, and you don't
want to blow up.

Speaker 5 (30:45):
No, but he's kept it in good shape.

Speaker 1 (30:48):
He's keeping it in check.

Speaker 5 (30:49):
No, yeah, keep it in check. He's doing his thing.

Speaker 2 (30:51):
You know this guy, mister six pack. You know he
always tried to give me a hard time if I
walk away from what it is.

Speaker 1 (31:00):
We have a tradition here of ending the show by
asking each of our guests, So in this case, David
and DeAngelo, I want you to each think about this.
What does the heart of the game mean to you?

Speaker 5 (31:11):
The heart of game?

Speaker 3 (31:11):
When I think of like the heart of the game,
you don't have to remember, you know, I'm always watching
my dad, but I'm watching somebody like you know, Padoya play,
seeing the way that he approaches every day, because I
tell my dad, like Pedroya, he's crazy, like every day
that there's a game he's getting prepared for, like his

(31:32):
Game seven of the World Series, right, and Pejoya is
the type of guy that he never lose focused when
he gets to the Bullparky.

Speaker 5 (31:38):
I mean that guy he's locked in.

Speaker 3 (31:41):
I feel like that is that to me is the
heart of game, Like playing the game like it's your
last and having that energy.

Speaker 4 (31:49):
David, what does the heart of the game mean to you? Well?

Speaker 2 (31:53):
To me, I can't distributed in so many different ways
because baseball was, basically after God, able had been my everything.
And it's because baseball was and it still is something
that's very attached to my family lifestyle. To my family situation.

(32:16):
I'm the type of guy that I come from nothing.
You know, my family struggle big time financially, coming from
a third word country. I have a moment Dad that
they were better responsible. They work their asses up to
basically give me the opportunity to go to school and
to have a life, and whenever my time come, I

(32:37):
take it very personal because I want to I want
to help them out. I want to get back to
that and I want to be able to make them proud.
And baseball was that thing. That's why I told you
earlier when we start talking about how I fell in
love with the game and how I start realizing that
that was going to be the key for me to
be able to change the history of my family. And

(32:59):
thanks God, you know. I follow up with trusting my dad,
trusting my mom. My mom passed away twenty one years ago,
but when she was around, she was the head of
the family.

Speaker 4 (33:12):
And I trust my parents with everything.

Speaker 2 (33:15):
I did everything I was told because at the end
of the day, who really care about you are your parents.

Speaker 4 (33:22):
I would jump in the middle of the truck for
this guy.

Speaker 2 (33:25):
You know what I'm saying, and he knows that and
his brother and sister knows that that I would do
whatever it takes for them to be all right. But
I also teach him that you had to fight to
be someone in life. You had to you had to
learn things so you can deliver it. You can't just
sit down and wait for some others to do things
for you, because at some point you want to want
to have a family on your own. And when you

(33:48):
start building up your family, you're going to be the
one guy that had to be like me, you know
what I'm saying. So that's what I tried to teach
my kids. So baseball to me like I can't even
describe what baby had been to me.

Speaker 1 (34:02):
Thanks to his October heroics, David Ortiz will never have
to buy another beer again in Boston, but he wants
to use his platform for a greater purpose to help
others who don't share his good fortune. Through the David
Ortiz Children's Fund, he seeks to save young lives and
give them a chance at a better future. He also
gets to see his son DiAngelo pursue the same dream

(34:24):
he had. No matter how it turns out, Big Poppy
is happy to watch it unfold from the bleachers as
any proud father would For more information on the David
Ortes Children's Fund, visit David Ortiz Children's Fund dot org
and that will do it for this season of Heart
of the Game. It's been quite the journey talking to

(34:45):
fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, Hall of famers, gold
medal winners, and national champions about the life lessons they've
learned from sports and their superstar families. We heard from
the offspring of champions on the pressures of following in
the footsteps of legends. We also heard about the challenges
of overcoming personal demons that derailed careers. Furthermore, we've delved

(35:07):
into the significance of prioritizing both physical and mental health
on and off the field. We'll be back with another
season of Heart of the Game soon. In the meantime,
catch up on any episodes you missed, and feel free
to share, review, and rate the show wherever you get
your podcasts. Thanks for listening, We'll see you next time.

(35:32):
Heart of the Game is a production of Ruby Studio
from iHeartMedia. Our show is hosted by me John Frankel.
Our executive producer is Matt Romano. Our ep of post
production is Matt Stillo. Our supervising producer is Nikiah Swinton.
This show was edited by Sierra Spreen. Our writer and
researcher is Mike Avila. Thanks for listening. We'll see you

(35:55):
next time.
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