Golf has always been one of the favorite activities of MLB players in the off-season.
But for the celebrity athletes flocking to the Dominican Republic this weekend, their tee times are for a much greater good.
Taking place overlooking the picturesque white sand beaches of Punta Cana is the 5th Annual David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic.
The annual fundraiser benefits David Ortiz Children’s Fund , a foundation the “Big Papi” began in 2005 that provides critical pediatric healthcare to children in both the Dominican Republic and the surrounding Boston area.
Speaking with Fox News Latino, Ortiz talked about being a role model in the Latino community both on and off the field.
With the foundation, Ortiz said “we’re able to help them out.”
“New England has a lot of immigrants who are in the same situation” as those in the Dominican Republican, Ortiz said.
For Dominican ball players, David Ortiz has lived up to his nickname ”Big Papi.”
Just ask DR native Robinson Canó, the New York Yankees second baseman who has followed Ortiz’s career from the beginning.
“David’s like a brother to me,” Canó told Fox News Latino.
Ortiz is proud of the strong community Dominican ball players have built with one another.
With new guys coming up every year, “I try to teach them how to do the right thing,” Ortiz said.
But while many may look up to “Big Papi” as a role model, Ortiz is weary to take on that title.
“To be honest with you I don’t mind people looking at me as a role model I just don’t want to pretend that I am.”
“We are human. We aren’t perfect,” Ortiz said. All we can do, “is try to approach things the right way.”
With his main focus being on being healthy for the 2013 Red Sox season, Ortiz will not be joining Cano and others in representing the Dominican Republican at the World Baseball Classic.
“I don’t think I will,” Ortiz said adding that Red Sox management does not think it would be the best decision.
Following a controversial end to the Boston’s 2012 season with the firing of manager Bobby Valentine, Ortiz is looking for to this next chapter of the Red Sox franchise.
“It’s time to turn the page.”
With at least two more years with the Red Sox, nothing would make Ortiz happier than to finish his career with the team.
“I’ve been here for a long time,” Ortiz said of his almost decade long career with the organization with which he won a World Series win.
“Hopefully things go well that way I can finish here.”
Whatever the future may hold, Ortiz has not forgotten about the country and community that helped make him the person he is today.
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