David Ortiz is a legendary slugger whose swing has made him an iconic part of the national pastime. But it was not until today that the Dominican-born designated hitter could call himself a US citizen.
Ortiz was one of 227 immigrants who raised their right hands and took the Oath of Citizenship at the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester. The cast he has worn since partially tearing a tendon in his left hand did not stop him from clutching a small American flag as he spoke to a crush of reporters after the ceremony.
I'm not a Red Sox fan, but Ortiz will always hold a special place in Chez Shyster, as he was the first baseball player my daughter recognized. She was two years old, looked at the screen one day and said "Dat Big Papi, Daddy!" She's four and a half now and cares more about princesses and fairies and ponies and things, but I'll always remember the Big Papi sighting.