- David Ortiz will be the only player inducted into the 2022 baseball Hall of Fame class.
- Ortiz won three World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox from 2003 to 2016.
- He says his lifestyle during that time revolved around bench press and whiskey.
David Ortiz will be the only player inducted into this year’s Pro Baseball Hall of Fame class. He says bench press and whiskey are the reasons why.
Ortiz, who played 19 MLB seasons after coming to the US from the Dominican Republic in 1992, became a folk hero for the Boston Red Sox from 2003-16 when he helped lead the team to three World Series titles as the franchise’s all-time postseason home run leader, with 17.
Throughout his career, he said he adopted different lifestyle assets that helped anchor his success on the field, and bench press and whiskey were the most important ones.
Bench presses strengthened Ortiz’s power-hitting after Manny Ramirez inspired him to embrace strength training
Bench press was essential because it helped Ortiz build up the strength in his upper body that powered all 17 historic postseason home runs for the Red Sox.
“I believe the bench pressing repetition was where I feel like I got my power from,” Ortiz said. “My bat used to feel lighter. It gave me a comfortable feeling mentally and physically that used to come along with my power.”
The 10-time All-Star said the heaviest weight he ever benched was 400 pounds, and he did it in the Red Sox’s team training room in 2006, the year he hit a league-leading 54 homers.
But Ortiz didn’t have the drive to embrace the bench press and fitness as a whole when he first join the Red Sox, and it was until his former teammate and fellow Red Sox hero Manny Ramirez invited him to join his daily workout routine with his private trainers in Ortiz’s first spring training in Boston in 2003.
Ortiz started working out at 6 am each day for six hours until the team got ready for a spring training exhibition game at noon, then went to work with Ramirez after the game, and the sessions would go on for two or three hours.
“The whole workout was based on routines, repetition in weight lifting,” Ortiz said. “I remember going home I was dead, and then I got to get up the next day at six to go to the field. So that time was hard for me, but once I got used to it, it got me super ready for whenever my opportunity kicked in. “
Ortiz said he would never have learned to embrace bench pressing or become the player he went on to be in Boston if Ramirez never put him through that spring training workout routine in 2003.
Ortiz developed a love for whiskey when he came to Boston and used it as motivation
Ortiz said he became a whiskey guy when he came to the Red Sox in 2003, and it became his go-to celebration drink, next to champagne, after big wins for the Red Sox, and his love for the drink motivated him to go the extra mile to help his team win each night.
Champagne was the drink of choice for all players after big clinching postseason wins on the field and in the clubhouse, but Ortiz favored whiskey to celebrate once he left Fenway Park after the game.
“Once you get home and got settled or go to the club with someone, whiskey was my thing!” he said.
Ortiz came to love whiskey so much that he launched his own personal line of whiskey with the liquor brand Whistlepig Whiskey. It’s aged for six years and finished in barrels containing toasted baseball bats.