- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer
DETROIT -- David Ortiz was an 11-year-old kid in Santo Domingo when his "papi,'' for reasons unbeknownst to him, decreed that David should watch baseball on television and study the Minnesota Twins in particular. It was only natural that young David took a shine to the stocky center fielder with the ever-present smile and flair for careening off fences.
Ortiz adopted Kirby Puckett as his role model, and eventually donned No. 34 in tribute.
How significant is the Latino influence in baseball? It's deeper and more profound than ever, writes Jerry Crasnick.