TV Recap – David Ortiz Explores Wrigley Field in Latest Episode of “Big Papi’s Places” on ESPN+

ESPN+ has found a format that works for series that dive into the history of our favorite sports. We’ve seen it with Peyton’s Places covering the NFL, we’ve seen it with Abby’s Places covering soccer, Rowdy’s Places covering combat sports and even Eli’s Places which took a look at the world of College Football. Now, Hall of Fame designated hitter David Ortiz, better known as Big Papi, takes on a tour of some baseball history in Big Papi’s Places.

The third episode, titled “Wrigley Field,” sees Ortiz head to Chicago to take a closer look at one of the most historic stadiums in sports. He meets with an old teammate who takes him on a tour of this iconic stadium and walks him through some of the history.

Ortiz has already taken us on a tour of Fenway Park in Boston, but now he is heading out to Chicago to explore Wrigley Field. There, he meets up with former teammate and current Chicago Cubs talk show host Ryan Dempster. Together, they reminisce a bit about their playing careers before taking a walk around to some of the most iconic parts of the stadium.

The first stop is the only seats that are not actually in the ballpark. Dempster explains how the rooftop seats across the street from the stadium work and we see some great old footage of fans enjoying games from that vantage point. We also see a clip of Glenallen Hill crushing a homerun onto one of the rooftops in left field, which both players say is the only time they’ve seen that happen.

Dempster then leads Papi to and even higher view – the scoreboard in center field. Much like the experience inside the Green Monster, Ortiz gets to see the inner workings of the scoreboard, but this one provides a much better view. The two players stick their heads out of the scoreboard and look down onto the field.

They then head down to the field itself and talk about some more of the stadium’s history, including the infamous Steve Bartman incident. We see the clip we’ve all seen before and can’t help but cringe when Bartman keeps Moises Alou from catching that ball. The two players talk about watching that happen and what that must have been like for everyone involved.

They spend some time talking about one of the greatest and most famous Chicago Cubs of all-time: Ernie Banks. We see plenty of highlights from his Hall of Fame career before Ortiz transitions to talking about Babe Ruth’s famous called shot, which also took place at Wrigley.

Another big focus is the addition of lights to Wrigley field, which didn’t come until August 8th, 1988. Dempster explains that the reasoning for lights not being added to the stadium sooner was that the Wrigley family used their resources to help with World War 2 rather than adding lights in the 40s.

One of the most iconic aspects of Wrigley is the ivy walls in the outfield, which is the next brief focus for the two former teammates. Dempster explains that these walls are actually so iconic that MLB rules actually prohibit them from being changed.

Ortiz then meets with two Cubs legends: Ferguson Jenkins and Andre Dawson. Together, they discuss their legendary playing careers a bit and share some great stories. Hearing from legends like this is always a lot of fun, especially when they get into some of their most memorable moments.

Finally, Ortiz meets with another old teammate and current Cubs manager, David Ross. As a player, Ross was a part of the Cubs’ World Series win in 2016, which they take time to highlight. They discuss what that kind of experience means to them and the relationships they get out of them. It’s nice to hear from Ross but it does kind of pull away from the focus on Wrigley for a bit.

This episode was pretty much exactly what I expected from this show when it was announced. Baseball is a sport with so much history spread out all over the country and Wrigley Field is one of the most iconic locations without a doubt. This was a no-brainer for this series and I hope we get to see Ortiz explore more famous stadiums and other historic locations like this one.

You can watch Big Papi’s Places on ESPN+ now. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $6.99 a month and can cancel at any time.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."