BOSTON -- David Ortiz's father -- Big Papi's papi -- isn't just at Fenway Park to see this weekend-long celebration of his son's accomplishments that continued on Saturday. Leo Ortiz plans on being around for the entire month of October, and perhaps even the first couple of days of November."I'm
BOSTON -- David Ortiz's father -- Big Papi's papi -- isn't just at Fenway Park to see this weekend-long celebration of his son's accomplishments that continued on Saturday. Leo Ortiz plans on being around for the entire month of October, and perhaps even the first couple of days of November.
"I'm going to be here until the World Series because we're going to win that, too," said Leo.
Can you blame Papi's papi for being boastful about the heights his son can help lead a team to?
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"This guy has given me so much to be proud of over the years," said Leo, who played baseball professionally in the Dominican Republic. "I remember when he was coming up in the league, I would try to correct him still even when he was in the big leagues and he told me, 'Dad, I got it, I'm ready, I'm ready to play in the big leagues.'"
Leo, who was wearing a 2007 World Series ring as he held court with the media on Saturday, has enjoyed every chapter of the ride.
"For me, he's accomplished so many things in the big leagues up to this point and those things that he has accomplished make me very proud, and this is the time that I always knew was coming -- his retirement," said Leo.
The first time Leo realized that David's playing days were at least nearing an end? Back in 2013. And the image that Leo has from that year is why he hasn't once tried to talk his son out of retiring.
"When I look back to 2013, I remember coming here to the field and I see him with what looks like two casts on his feet," said Leo. "I said, 'What's happening to my boy? Did he get into an accident or something?' What he told me was, 'This is how your son is making this money doing all this stuff before games.' It's not a surprise to me."
You'd be surprised to know which home run by his son is Leo's favorite. It was on July 5, 2000, a three-run pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning against the Red Sox.
At the time, Ortiz was a platoon player for Twins manager Tom Kelly.
"He told me before the game he was going to dedicate a home run to me. At the time, he was playing for a coach that didn't like him that much and didn't play him that much," said Leo. "So during the game he was walking by, and I could tell he was anxious because he had a bat in his hand and he was walking by the coach almost as to say, 'Look at me.'
"Then I see the coach points to him and I'm thinking he was going to hit. So when he hits the home run and he's rounding the bases, I'm sitting in the bleachers and he's pointing at me to say, 'Hey, I did it for you.' He caught a lot of flak in Minnesota for that, but I told him, 'Don't worry about it. You're going to hit many more home runs.'"
Leo plans on seeing a few more over these next few weeks.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.