July 11, 2016

"I WAS HITTING BALLS ONTO THE HIGHWAY, BRO"

How a young Big Papi beat Griffey, A-Rod in the greatest home run derby you've never heard of (Scott Lauber, 7/11/16, ESPN)

Twenty years ago, on the last Monday in July, baseball's biggest superstar and his heir apparent came to a rain-soaked field 100 miles north of Milwaukee. Nearly 6,000 people crammed into Fox Cities Stadium to get a glimpse of them -- backward-cap-wearing Ken Griffey Jr. and skinny, fresh-faced Alex Rodriguez -- in an exhibition game for the Seattle Mariners.

It was as hot a ticket as there ever was in the decadeslong history of minor league baseball in Appleton, Wisconsin.

"And then," David Ortiz says, "I stole the show."

Ortiz wasn't Big Papi then. Heck, he wasn't even David Ortiz. As a 20-year-old first baseman in his first full season of pro ball after the Mariners had signed him four years earlier out of his native Dominican Republic, he went by David Arias, his mother's maiden name.



Posted by at July 11, 2016 5:02 PM

  

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