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With overcast skies and weathermen calling for galoshes, mother nature didn’t dare rain on this parade. On Saturday, Four Seasons Hotel in partnership with David Ortiz Children’s Fund hosted a 5k run and a 2k walk to benefit the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and the MGH Cancer Center. The turnout was huge, and participants and their families buzzed with excitement as they waited for the slugger to arrive at the Charles River Esplanade.
VIP guests included Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Founder, Chairman, and CEO, and Bill Taylor, the Hotel’s General Manager.
Just before 10 a.m., the crowd stirred as Big Papi emerged, looking cool and relaxed as usual, decked out in designer threads, shiny jewelery, and his trademark over sized sunglasses. A 12-2 thumping of the Phillies the night prior added a bounce to his step. Though photo opportunities were supposed to be limited to VIP’s, Ortiz gladly obliged the many in attendance, signing countless autographs and posing for even more pictures.
Ortiz acted as Starter for the three Fun Runs (A third mini-race for kids was also held), firing the pistol to set the runners running and the walkers walking, and the growing crowd of spectators followed him every step of the way. In between runs, Big Papi alternated time between standing on the podium for the true VIP photo ops and laying low underneath a private Vitamin Water tent, a sponsor of his and of the event.
As I moved along my way and headed home, I noticed an introspective Ortiz sitting underneath the same Vitamin Water tent, this time listening to his iPod. Maybe he was taking a moment to himself. Maybe he was already thinking about this afternoon’s game, tuning others out and focusing on his approach. After all, this is the reigning AL Player of the Month we’re talking about.
The way he has been hitting of late, he’sprobably hoping it won’t rain tonight, either.