David Ortiz, the beloved former MLB player for the Boston Red Sox has seen his share of drama in 2019 and we’ve been following his saddening story each step of the way.
David’s Back Story
David Ortiz was born the eldest of four children in 1975 in the Dominican Republic. He was a devoted fan of fellow Dominican Republican MLB players like Ramon Martinez and his younger brother, Pedro. By the time he was in high school, he was a standout baseball player.
Ten days after his 17th birthday in 1992, David got his big break and was signed by the Seattle Mariners where he debuted in 1994 for the Mariners of the Arizona League.
In 2000, while playing for the Minnesota Twins, he hit his first major league grand slam at Fenway Park against Boston Red Sox pitcher Ramón Martínez, his childhood hero from the DR. Coincidentally, in 2003, with the aid of Ramon’s brother Pedro, who was playing for the Red Sox, Ortiz was recruited onto the team as a first baseman. From that point on, as they say, it’s all history.
When David Ortiz retired from the Boston Red Sox, he joined Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as only the third player in MLB player history with at least 500 career home runs and 600 career doubles. His annual statistical achievements from 2006 to 2016 remark the career of a hardworking ‘natural.’ A foreigner whose love for the game knew no bounds.
Recap on What Happened
Celebrated as a national hero in the Dominican Republic, “Big Papi,” was gunned down in June while dining with his posse at The Dial Bar in East Santo Domingo of the DR.
But the events of that fateful day in June of 2019, propelled a happily retired sports hero into a media maelstrom of attempted murder and foreign intrigue.
For a mere $7800, the shooter rode up on a motorcycle and shot him in the back. What has transpired since looks like a made-for-TV drama; but turned out to be an alleged case of mistaken identity that very nearly cost a ‘national treasure’ his life.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
According to the D.R.’s attorney general, Jean Rodriguez, Ortiz was not the intended target. His dinner guest, Sixto David Fernandez was the target. The shooters were instructed to seek a man with white pants and Ortiz was wearing white pants, not his companion, the intended target.
All About Money
After multiple surgeries and public relations’ gaffes and speculations, it seems that Big Papi’s own personal life has been unintentionally exposed to the public.
According to the publication, Dominican Today, David Ortiz was being subjected to a series of blackmail attempts from an ex-convict for $20,000 because he spied Ortiz in a nightclub ‘flirting’ with other women.
Felix A. Paulino videotaped Ortiz chatting with women at a nightclub and sent the videotape to Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, demanding the 20k in exchange for his silence, according to the celebrity gossip site TMZ.
This report came before the assault. It is a clear case of ‘opportunistic ability.’ Felix A. Paulino was eventually arrested for extortion and sentenced to two years in prison for extortion as well as being in possession of a loaded .22 caliber pistol.
Mattias Lopez, a spokesperson for MONEDEROsmart condemned the bribery and attempts to siphon money from Mr Ortiz; “It’s a sad commentary when a person is thrust into the media spotlight, opportunists will appear at any given moment with no respect for the individual. Mr. Ortiz was a victim of circumstance that upended his entire life on many levels. We hope he continues to navigate his health, his family, and his legacy as an icon to baseball lovers all over the world”.