Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In a Word, Confidence

BOOK REVIEW: "Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits"

The new book by David Ortiz (with Boston Herald writer Tony Massarotti) is a window into the heart of a man most Red Sox fans already know very well. Papi is one of those rare athletes whose performance and personality are equally stellar. You would love him if he hit .250 with 15 home runs; you worship him because he does so much more. The book is a fascinating look at Ortiz's rise from tough circumstances in his native Dominican Republic to the pinnacle of superstardom in the Major Leagues.

And, more than anything else, he attributes this to a simple word: confidence. At one point he offers this advice to his readers young and old, "If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish almost anything. You need the confidence and you need the support, but you can do it. Trust me." He cites this inner confidence as the pivotal factor at every critical juncture in his life. Battling through adversity to keep that confidence high is what has made the man we see today. The book also explores his thoughts during scores of memorable moments he has delivered to the Nation, with the ever present "Bro" thrown into his prose for what seems like five times per page. But you don't mind it, because you know it's real. As real as the man who has given back so much to so many people both in the Boston area and back in his home country.

If you think Big Papi can't possibly be any more endearing, read this book. You will be convinced. I'm confident. Five out of Five Stars.

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