You may have heard that David Ortiz, the Big Papi, is retiring from baseball after this season. He'll play his final game at Petco Park on Wednesday and the Padres have confirmed that there will be a pregame ceremony.
I heard the Mighty 1090's Darren Smith joke yesterday that the Padres would probably go overboard due to their leadership's connections with the Red Sox and name a dugout after Ortiz. I could see Boston Bros and Red Sox fans Mike Dee and Wayne Partello taking things a step further by inducting Papi into the Padres Hall of Fame. After all, they inducted San Diegan Ted Williams into their Hall basically for his accomplishments in a Red Sox uniform. It's a slippery slope people!
ESPN is tracking gifts on the Big Papi farewell tour. It's a nice resource to see if the Padres go overboard or if they are in step with other Major League teams.
Houston gave Ortiz a custom Stetson cowboy hat. The Braves played him a video. The White Sox gave him a humidor containing 50 Dominican cigars. The Royals gave him an ASG chair, a picture and a bottle of BBQ sauce. The Giants presented him with a cable car bell. The Twins gave him a 64-ounce jar of peanut butter (inside joke) and a $10,000 donation to a charity. The Rangers gave him a belt buckle and custom cowboy boots. The Angels gave him a customized portrait. Seattle handed him a plethora of items including a copy of his first contract, a king salmon, a watch and a framed portrait. The Dodgers gave him $20,000 to his foundation. The Indians donated $10,000 to a one of their local charities in his name. The Tigers gave Ortiz a guitar.
Ortiz doesn't have much history with the Padres so you wouldn't expect them to open up their wallets for a big donation.
Best of Big Papi: Ortiz's only hit in San Diego was an RBI single off eventual Cy Young Award winner and future Red Sox teammate Jake Peavy on June 24, 2007. He said one goodbye here at the All-Star Game in July, but will have another chance during a three-game series in September.
Ballpark figures: 0 HRs, 1 RBIs, .091 BA in 3 games
A gift of a custom surfboard presented by two executive fan boys seems like the obvious choice here. That is unless the Oakland Athletics give him a surfboard first. You may remember this happened when Mariano Rivera was retiring.
Last year the Padres gave Chipper Jones a surfboard, which Big League Stew ranked the best of his gifts. This year the stupid Oakland Athletics stole the idea and gave him a surfboard, which makes no sense at all because they're Oakland. You're supposed to give him a gift that represents your city or a common interest. They're the worst.
We’ll see this weekend if Oakland screws the Padres again and sends them scrambling to find a new gift on Wednesday.