It was 2004. Just months into moving to New York City, and I was perched in front of the TV in my tiny Queens apartment, praying. I’m not a very religious man, but damned if I wasn’t saying something to someone up there that night. It was basically: “Please, Boston Red Sox, win the World Series” over and over again. Then it happened—and the rest of the night’s a blur of cheering and laughing and back-slapping and whiskey shots.
I never would’ve gotten to that place without the Sox’s Designated Hitter David Ortiz. He’d been so clutch the entire Series, but especially against the formidable New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Every time we needed a big hit, he came through. He’s been one of my heroes ever since—and I aspire to one day meet him and thank him.
Until then, he’ll be just another untouchable celebrity—the type that’s been a summer mainstay in Saratoga Springs. Whether it’s Olympic gold medalist Shaun White grabbing a bite at Hattie’s (his girlfriend is Greenwich, NY native Sarah Barthel, lead singer of Phantogram) or Emmy Award-winning soap opera icon Susan Lucci taking in a day at the races, Saratoga’s where the rich and famous come to play in the summer. We even caught some of them in the act. —Will Levith