Technically, this is Yankees country; we are in New York, after all. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a dedicated crew of Boston Red Sox fans hiding in the shadows of Saratoga County, and it doesn’t mean that we New Yorkers can’t appreciate a baseball great when we see one. More importantly, it means that we’ll jump at the chance to meet legendary Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz when he’s right here on our home field.
That’ll be the case come September 7, the first day of the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival, when Ortiz will make an appearance at the “Fired Up!” chef grill-off competition on Friday from 7-10pm. He’ll host a VIP meet-and-greet for the first 100 guests to purchase a specially priced “Fired Up!” ticket (regular tickets are $100, and ones that include the Big Papi meet-and-greet are $150), which includes a photo with Ortiz, as well as an autograph. Then, at 8:30pm, he’ll be holding down the fort in the VIP lounge, which a $200 ticket will get you access to. A portion of the proceeds from the night will benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, a charity that provides support to children in New England and the Dominican Republic who are unable to afford essential cardiac services.
After being on the cover of the saratoga living “Saratoga After Dark” issue, and now returning to the epic Saratoga Wine & Food Festival for the second year, it seems safe to say that Big Papi likes it here. When we chatted with him back in June for the cover story, we asked if there was any chance he’d have a place in Saratoga Springs in the future. “You never know,” he said. “I never thought about living in Boston for 17 years, and here I am. So you never know.” Yep, he likes it here.