David Ortiz reunites with Triple-A manager in St. Louis
Phil Roof had to make the drive. After all, it was to see Big Papi.
The former manger of the Salt Lake City Buzz (now the Bees, an Angels affiliate) drove four hours from Paducah, Kentucky, to greet his former player David Ortiz in St. Louis for the opening game of the three-game set between the 2013 World Series opponents.
Roof managed Ortiz at Salt Lake City from 1997-99 when Ortiz was a member of the Minnesota Twins organization. These days, while Ortiz continues to smash home runs, Roof is enjoying retirement after 15 big-league seasons and 30 additional years as a coach at various levels. Some notable players under his watch as a minor-league manager included Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, A.J. Pierzynski and Torii Hunter. Roof is a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
Joining Roof on the trip to the Gateway City is his wife Linda and four grandsons Davis, Hale, Bailey and Clayton--all of whom met Ortiz on this overcast late afternoon in the Midwest.