Former MLB star David Ortiz, better known as Big Papi, spent 14 professional seasons with the Boston Red Sox before retiring after the 2016 season. He had himself quite the career as he was a 10-time All-Star, a seven-time Silver Slugger winner, and a three-time World Series champion. He also holds the franchise's single-season record for home runs with 54, which he set in 2006. He played with the Minnesota Twins from 1997 to 2002. He originally signed with the Seattle Mariners in 1992.
Big Papi finished his MLB career with 541 home runs, 1,768 RBIs, and a .286 batting average. In terms of designated hitters, he's the all-time leader in league history for home runs (485), RBIs (1,569), and hits (2,192). Due to his 11 career walk-off home runs during the regular season and two during the postseason, he was deemed as one of the best clutch hitters of all-time.
Off the field, Big Papi had a fruitful life. He remained a positive man, despite his mother's tragic death due to a car accident in 2002. He became an American citizen at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2008. He received an honorary degree from Boston University on May 12, 2017. He wouldn't have done some of these things without the help of his wife, Tiffany Brick. The couple have three children: Alexandra, D'Angelo, and Jessica. The couple may not have a perfect marriage, but at least they try their best.
Here are 15 facts about Big Papi's marriage.
17 The Couple Met A Long Time Ago
This isn't one of the atypical love stories where a well-known athlete fell for a female celebrity at the peak of his career. Big Papi met his future wife Tiffany when he was still in the minors, playing for the Mariners' farm team, the Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League. They've been together for 20 years and counting.
Tiffany is a Kaukauna, Wisconsin, native. We're sure Big Papi was glad he decided to go out with some of his fellow teammates after a game one night because he met an incredible woman who would later become his wife. MLB.com reported the couple's separation in April 2013, but they later got back together in June 2014 after realizing how much they missed each other. At least they learned from their mistakes instead of immediately throwing in their towels and calling it quits. That's the definition of true love right there.
16 Big Papi Became A Packers Fan Because Of Tiffany
This shouldn't come as a surprise to you, but Big Papi became a Green Bay Packers fan because of Tiffany. Like other couples, one of the parties switches their sports allegiances or adopts a brand-new team for the sake of their relationship or marriage. It makes perfect sense because this WAG hails from Kaukauna, a small town in between Appleton and Green Bay.
We don't know how many Packers games at Lambeau Field the couple attended together, but we can tell you Big Papi made a smart choice in adopting a popular NFL team in the United States. The Packers have such a rich history, winning a total of 13 championships thus far-nine pre-Super Bowl championships and four Super Bowl championships. It's easy to spot a Packers fan and it shouldn't be a hassle to spot Big Papi in a crowd of Green and Gold fans with signature cheesehead hats.
15 Daughter Alexandra Sang The National Anthem Before A Red Sox Game
Sometimes, there IS crying in baseball. pic.twitter.com/voHR6BenUy— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 11, 2016
There might be some musical talent in the Ortiz household. Remember when Big Papi's daughter Alexandra sang the National Anthem before the Red Sox's home opener in April 2016? It took the soon-to-be ex first baseman and designated hitter (DH) by surprise because he was entering his final season in Boston at the time. Alexandra told Mass Live, “He said to me, ‘Don’t ever surprise me like that again."
Not only that, Big Papi teared up when Alexandra sang because he seldom hears his daughter sing. Yes, there's crying in baseball sometimes.
"I wanted him to be emotional," Alexandra told Heavy.com. "Somebody told me that he cried and I was like, 'Yes.' I didn’t know if that was a terrible thing." Well, it's okay to notice your own father weeping during a baseball game, especially if he's an MLB veteran who has made tons of contributions over the years.
13 The Separation Didn't Affect Ortiz's Game
As you may already know, Big Papi tied the knot with Tiffany in 2002. He was 24 and she was 25. Ortiz got married pretty young, but it was because he found his love early on in his career.
When they separated in 2013, with Ortiz saying at the time of the separation: “There are some situations in life that work out for a period of time and at some point they don’t work out anymore and you have to move on,” Ortiz told WEEI.com. “I’m moving on. She’s moving on. Hopefully everybody respects that.”
Ortiz vowed that the separation (and what was looking like a divorce) wouldn't affect his play on the field, and it seems he was right, as he led the Red Sox to a World Series that October, being named World Series MVP.
Given that Ortiz was just starting his baseball career at the time, this past year has been the first year the couple has been together without David having to worry about playing a full baseball season.
12 Tiffany's Father Passed Away In 2013
Like the most of us, Big Papi wasn't sure what he was doing with his life, and coped with a death in his family. Yet, he had to pick up the pieces and work towards rebuilding a couple of things.
Big Papi said, "In the spring and summer of 2013, I was 37 years old and thinking about what I was doing with my life. I missed my wife. I missed my kids... And I was thinking in terms of “our.” It became clearer when my father-in-law, Terry Brick, died that summer. Tiffany was grieving, and so was I. It was becoming a mission season for me: help the city, help the team, help put my family back together again."
Ortiz and Tiffany would reconcile about a year later and judging from Ortiz's words, it seems that seeing his father-in-law pass away may have reminded him how much he still loved Tiffany.
11 Tiffany Uses Her Time Productively
Besides raising her three children, Tiffany is a humanitarian who does charity work with the Red Sox wives and girlfriends (WAGs). She has participated in the annual Red Sox fashion show called "From Fenway to the Runway." In case if you were wondering, it's not just a fashion show, but also a fundraiser that's often sold-out. Even the wives of former players like Shonda Schilling and Anna Delcarmen continue to participate in the show.
When the lovely ladies step into the building, they're welcomed by the sights of centerpieces of popcorn boxes on their tables. They're filled with so-called popcorn made out of hydrangeas—all donated by Winston Flowers. The ladies model different types of clothes and accessories, including the latest fall fashions, like in the most recent show last month. It's an excellent way to benefit the Red Sox foundation's education and youth baseball cornerstone programs. Keep up the good work!
10 Tiffany Is On The New England Board Of Directors For UNICEF
Here's another thing you likely didn't know about Tiffany. As we've already mentioned, she's a humanitarian who wants to do good for ordinary people, but she's also on the New England Board of Directors for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
UNICEF's website reads, "Through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States, UNICEF does whatever it takes to save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children. Forty years ago, UNICEF figured out that promoting simple, low-cost interventions like hand washing and breastfeeding could save millions of lives. Undaunted by war or geography, UNICEF delivers."
In 2010, UNICEF teamed up with the Boston Celtics for "A Night For Haiti" night at the House of Blues. They honored the Celtics with the Children's Champion Award. At the event, Tiffany just happened to pose with UNICEF president and CEO Caryl M. Stern and Perkins Board of Trustees chair Corinne Grousbeck for a picture with the Champion for Children’s award.
9 Education Remains A Priority For The Kids
Big Papi is one of the biggest stars in baseball, but he continues to make education a priority for his three children. According to Bankrate.com, his net worth is $45 million as of October 2016. He earned most of it by playing baseball, but also earned some from endorsements, apparel, and a food line called Big Papi's Kitchen.
Big Papi's eldest daughter Jessica graduated from high school in 2014. His son D'Angelo has interests in playing both basketball and baseball, but the head of the household reportedly said the priority remains on his children's educations. He told Heavy.com, "We’ll see how that plays out. All I worry about right now is him being well educated. Education to me is the most important thing. And I think that when you’re well educated, a lot of doors open up, more than anything else. And if you become a professional athlete and well educated — bingo." That's a job well done in the parenting department.
8 Tiffany Appreciates Nature And Relaxation
Not all WAGs share similar traits and hobbies as the women featured on the reality TV show WAGS on E! They're also not always like the Kardashians either.
Tiffany's Twitter bio says, "Wife of 34, Mother of Alex & D, BFF of Foxxy and the Baby Happy. On the Boston board for US fund for UNICEF, David Ortiz Children's fund, Tree Hugger and Yogi." Yes, she describes herself as a tree hugger and a yogi. She has a certain attachment towards trees, including redwoods, and enjoys doing yoga, an ancient practice that was designed to help others achieve a positive outlook on life along with a focused sense of serenity and peace.
That being said, Tiffany seems like a down-to-earth type of woman, despite being married to a big MLB star. She also seems to try to keep a low profile because less is more. She doesn't have to tweet every couple of hours.
7 The Couple Gets Involved With Philanthropic Efforts
Speaking of education, Big Papi and Tiffany continue to serve as good role models for their kids.
With Tiffany's help, Big Papi created The David Ortiz Children’s Fund in 2007 following a visit to the CEDIMAT Hospital in the Dominican Republic, two years before. He just wanted to put smiles on children's faces to help them forget about their problems for a little while, but he was inspired to do more than that. Two years later, he created a fund to help children in New England and the D.R. who don't have access to critical pediatric services.
The DOCF's website reads, "The David Ortiz Children’s Fund is proud to partner with Massachusetts General Hospital and World Pediatric Project through its work with CEDIMAT to fulfill its mission. Working together, these organizations are increasing the number of children receiving lifesaving surgeries." Big Papi helps others because he knows how hard things can be, especially in his home country.
6 Son D'Angelo's Middle Name Is Enrique For A Reason
D'Angelo Ortiz isn't just Big Papi's son. He knows a thing or two about baseball. He learned about batting from his father.
It's clear Big Papi loves his dad Enrique. Hence, that's the reason why he gave D'Angelo the middle name Enrique. With or without a wife, his father raised his son the best he could in a dangerous neighborhood in the Dominican Republic.
Big Papi told Mass Live, "My mom and dad, they divorced when I was 15 but it was like it never happened because my dad was around even more often," Ortiz said. "And I was walking into an age where it's a dangerous age -- 15, 16, 17. If you have the wrong people around you, that can get you in trouble. So my mom and dad, they were always there for me."
5 Big Papi Made D'Angelo's Ninth Birthday Extra Special
D'Angelo Ortiz had a very special ninth birthday party. No, it wasn't a big birthday bash with lavish gifts and hot strippers. It was actually an age appropriate celebration back in 2013.
You see, Big Papi went out of his way to do something special for his son's birthday. D'Angelo did the usual activities: took batting practice in the cage, stretched with the Boston Red Sox, and swiped a t-shirt out of Shane Victorino’s locker. But between the third and fourth innings, his father gave him a surprise he likely won't forget. He came out of the dugout with a birthday cake to present to his son.
Like most MLB teams, the Red Sox are cool with their players having their kids in the clubhouse at Fenway Park. After all, there's a family room next to the clubhouse, and most of the players often bring their kids to their lockers after a home win.
4 D'Angelo Was Named After His Paternal Grandmother
D'Angelo may be an Italian name for males, but Big Papi actually named his 13-year-old son after his mother, Angela Rose Arias, who died in a car crash in 2002. His name was inspired after his paternal grandmother.
Despite his parents' divorce, Big Papi still had love for his mother and not just his father. After all, both of his parents raised him when he was growing up, as mentioned in the previous entry. So in essence, Ortiz gave his son names from both his mother and his father's side of the family.
Ortiz said earlier this year that he doesn't miss playing baseball, as he's having too much fun hanging around his kids. The only thing he misses is his teammates, but that's been offset by enjoying the company of his family.
2 Tiffany Doesn't Mind The Domestic Work
We've already mentioned Tiffany's many accomplishments earlier in this list, but she doesn't mind the domestic work when it comes to being a mother of three. Not like she's the stereotypical house wife, but she has listened to her husband, who wanted her to stay at home with their kids as much as she could.
Why? Big Papi explained to Mass Live, saying, "Because I want my kids to be like me and her...She do her domestic job and I do mine. So when I come home, I know I'm not going to have to put up with something different than I already know. So that combination of what she do and what I do, it works out perfectly. She understands how important it is for me. And like I told you, hard work pay off.
Big Papi added, "When I see kids with bad behavior I just stay quiet the whole time because it doesn't look right to me. I want my kids to be respectful, to respect everyone around them. And I teach them how to be that way."
1 The Divorce Between Big Papi's Parents Never Changed His Life
More often than not, the children of divorced parents who went through rocky relationships tend to act out, but this wasn't the case for Big Papi. He remained in control of his life and never had any major breakdowns (or mishaps) that were publicized in celebrity gossip magazines.
Big Papi told Mass Live, "I never used that (the divorce) as an excuse to do bad things...But at the same time, they were there for me always and I was a good listener. Every little thing I learned growing up from my family I have put it in play with my family and it has worked."
Big Papi also described his father as his mentor and best friend. They've shared many things together, including three World Series titles. However, there were some difficult things in the duo's paths, like when Enrique Ortiz was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009. By the way, he's doing better as of late.