The year was 1981, and a young man from NYC walked into Boston, MA to start an engineering career. That man was yours truly, Boston Jimmie. Within the first couple of weeks, I was invited by my new-found friends to a baseball game at Fenway Park. Of course I was a young Yankee fan, but hey baseball is still my game, so I accepted the invite. I was young and brazing wearing my Yankee hat to that first game and yea, I took some heat for it. As time went on I was back at Fenway for another game, this time without the hat and starting to wear the pain of the “happy losers” on my sleeve like the rest of the Red Sox nation. Somewhere between 1981 and 1984, when I moved back to NYC, I became a fan of the team, the Red Sox nation, and fell in love with the park. I have been back several times since and even get to an occasional spring training game in Fort Myers, FL.
The years turned on and so did I, moving from NYC to Melbourne, FL. I never turned in the Red Sox hat or changed my love for the team. We had an amazing run in 1986, but that is a story I would rather not relive. In 2003 things really started to turn for the Red Sox, as they acquired a young Dominican Player from the Minnesota Twins; David “Big Papi” Ortiz. I ask ya, “What were the Twins thinking when they let him go?!”
2004 was the year. It was 86 cycles around the sun, since the Red Sox last won a world series. The team was beyond amazing, as Big Papi and the “Sawx” kept me on the edge of my seat, winning 98 games in the regular season. That year, Big Papi jacked 41 Home Runs, 47 Doubles, 3 Triples, and 139 RBIs and batted a solid .301. He was beloved by his fans and feared by his opponents and always had the biggest smile.
Big Papi wasn’t done, as they ventured into the AL Championship Series against the NY Yankees. Down 3 games to none in a 7 game series, they found a way, and with the help of Papi’s bat the guys from Boston won the next four straight, taking them to the World Series. I remember those late night extra inning games, especially that 4th game when Big Papi jacked a 2 run walk off homer to set history in motion.
The momentum of his clutch hitting coupled with the scrappy, we won’t lose attitude of his teammates, led the Sox to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals and take the coveted World Series trophy which evaded the team for 86 years. As history shows, 2004 was the season to break the Bambino’s curse. Papi won the ALCS MVP that year and went on to win the World Series MVP in 2013.
Win or lose, I am a Red Sox fan, and a major part of the reason is Big Papi.
So it was to my great pleasure when I received a press release today from El Artista Cigars announcing that David Ortiz will be making an appearance at this years IPCPR in Las Vegas.
Wow! That just made my day!
You see, in case you have lived under a pile of cigar ash, Tabacalera El Artista in collaboration with David Ortiz, released the Big Papi cigar at last years show. It was an amazing cigar and even made the Stogie Press top 25. I will be honored to meet the man who helped keep me at the edge of my seat for all these years watching my beloved Red Sox. We miss you Papi, but the team is finding a way.
The official press release follows:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2017
(LAS VEGAS) – A few weeks after his jersey is retired at Fenway Park, #34 will make an appearance at the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association’s 85th Annual Convention and Trade Show.
Big Papi will make a big appearance at IPCPR on July 13 for a meet & greet with retailers. “We are excited to have David come to the show,” states Radhames Rodriguez, President of El Artista Cigars, “and I am sure retailers will want to meet him and shake his hand.” This appearance comes on the heels of yet another Big Papi event to be held on June 26 in Cambridge, MA at La Fabrica Central Restaurant: “Mr. Ortiz is involved in the brand, and is on board for all our plans for 2017 and beyond,” states Jonas Santana Marketing & Sales Manager for El Artista.
“Mr. Ortiz’ appearance at the IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas demonstrates his commitment to the success of the brand,” states Kevin Newman PR Manager for El Artista, “Mr. Ortiz is excited about working with retailers and consumers to promote Big Papi brand cigars.”
David Ortiz is scheduled to be at the El Artista booth for two hours starting at 2PM on July 13. Ortiz will shake hands, take photos and smoke cigars with attendees. Afterward, Ortiz will attend a private dinner with select El Artista retailers.