Red Sox slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz instructed campers on their batting strokes, as well as the importance of education, while at a baseball clinic held at on Monday.
During a Q&A session, a camper asked Ortiz what his focus was when he was a child, to which the slugger answered, "My focus at your age was education. Education can take you a long way...education comes first before sports."
Ortiz then thanked his father for chasing him out of basketball courts in the Dominican Republic, to play baseball, because his father wanted him to be a baseball player. Ortiz said he liked basketball more growing up, and told the group of more than 100 little leaguers, that it's good to play multiple sports, not just one.
The was offered to anyone with a Citi credit card, provided the parents paid for their kids to attend the camp. VitaminWaters were handed out, as they are a sponsor of Ortiz.
When asked how far he could hit the ball from home plate at Catholic Memorial's field, Ortiz laughed, and then asked the reporter how far he thought Ortiz could hit. The reporter suggested that next year Ortiz come back and see how far he can hit it.
Aside from Ortiz, Catholic Memorial's baseball head coach Hal Carey said from home plate to the school in rightfield is about 350 to 360 feet, and that Ortiz could definitely hit it, if not crush one over the school.
Ortiz joined the campers in a quick group photo session, and then headed to the field with the campers during their drills. Standing in shallow rightfield, he instructed young players to concentrate on the ball as Ortiz pitched the ball slowly, sometimes underhand.
It seemed like every camper got a hit off Ortiz, one of the most clutch hitters of all-time. When one camper hit the ball into the stands, as some parents avoided getting hit, Ortiz raised his hands and celebrated the home run as the camper roudned the bases.
For the campers who needed more instruction, Ortiz came up close to them, showing them the correct batting form.
Possibly, the most exciting moment was when Ortiz was pitching to his daughter, whose own lefty baseball swing resembles her father's, drilled one right back at her old man. Adults gasped in worry, but Big Papi quickly showed his famous smile, laughed, and jokingly asked his daughter why she hit it so hard at him. She smiled back at him.
Check back tomorrow for more photos of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's visit to Catholic Memorial. Got any pictures yourself? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.