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10/22/07 2:00 AM ET

Heart of the Order: David Ortiz

From New England to the Dominican Republic, he is known simply as "Big Papi."

Another appropriate nickname for David Ortiz would be Mr. Gregarious. Few players in baseball light up a clubhouse the way Ortiz does. The master of clutch hits, Ortiz always wants to be the guy standing at the plate with the game -- or even the season -- on the line.

Whether you are a Red Sox coach, player, batboy or media member, Ortiz is likely to treat you in the most light-hearted manner imaginable. He will sometimes end interviews with the press by spraying some of his cologne on an unsuspecting media member. It's all in fun. In making the path from a struggling platoon player to superstar, Ortiz has never forgotten to keep the joy of the game in perspective. He feels fortunate to play baseball for a living, particularly in a hotbed such as Boston.

Heart of the Order
With the World Series approaching, MLB.com explores the people behind the numbers on the AL champion Red Sox.

C: J. Varitek
1B: K. Youkilis
2B: D. Pedroia
SS: J. Lugo
3B: M. Lowell
LF: M. Ramirez
CF: J. Ellsbury
RF: J. Drew
DH: D. Ortiz
SP: J. Beckett
SP: C. Schilling
CL: J. Papelbon

Away from the field, one of Ortiz's main talents is his ability to cook. When Ortiz sits down for a quiet meal with wife Tiffany and their three children -- daughters Jessica and Alexandra and son D'Angelo -- he is often the one who has put together the spread. Ortiz's specialty is chicken, rice and beans with plenty of spice.

Ortiz isn't just a baseball junkie. He loves basketball, a game he grew up playing in the Dominican and still follows closely. When Ortiz is in Boston during the winter, he is no stranger to Celtics home games, where he often sits courtside. Ortiz is also a big fan of the National Football League and often attends Green Bay Packers home games, as Tiffany Ortiz is a certified "Cheesehead."

When Ortiz isn't spending time with his family or playing baseball, he is often doing some good in the community. He was the Red Sox's nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award the last two seasons. In December of 2006, Ortiz made a $200,000 donation to a hospital in the Dominican Republic for heart surgeries for children. Back in 2005, Ortiz donated $50,000 to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund and challenged every player in Major League Baseball to do the same.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.