Over the past thirteen years, perhaps nothing has been more synonymous with Boston baseball than David “Big Papi” Ortiz. After a stint with the Minnesota Twins, the Santo Domingo-born slugger was brought into the Red Sox family in 2003 and went to work breaking the team’s notorious 86-year championship drought with World Series wins in 2004, 2007, and 2013. But perhaps no moment was more emblematic of Ortiz’s symbiotic relationship with Boston’s fiercely proud fan base than a home game held the day after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
Operating as a sort of master of ceremonies for a pre-game homage to the bravery of the city’s emergency workers, Big Papi concluded with a brief but resounding statement when he exhorted, “This is our fucking city. And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!” The moment was all but written into the DNA of an entire generation of Red Sox fans, and now, thanks to Mark Wahlberg, it will immortalized on the big screen as part of the upcoming film Patriots Day.
Directed by Peter Berg of Friday Night Lights and Hancock fame, Patriots Day will feature Wahlberg as a Boston police sergeant on the tragic day when two homemade bombs were detonated in the middle of the Boston Marathon, causing three deaths and 264 injuries. Wahlberg is also signed onto the film as producer, and it seems a longstanding relationship with Big Papi allowed him to convince the aging designated hitter to recreate the moment for the cameras.
In an interview with ESPN.com, Ortiz showed his enthusiasm, insisting that the movie would be “a big deal,” especially on account of its Christmas season release date. He also pointed out that he’s a fan of history and movies based on true stories, so who knows, if this goes well maybe we’ll see him next starring in a dramatic recreation of the Boston Tea Party.