I'm not one to go apeshit over athletes in general. Thinking back to childhood, there wasn't really one that I thought of as a hero or that I looked up to. Actually the only one I do remember loving is Charles Barkley, mostly for his willingness to bash people in the head with a beer mug before it was cool.
I think Ortiz may be heading towards being pretty much my favorite athlete ever. Nevermind 2004, which cemented him as Jesus in New England (which is odd for me, being jewish and all). Lots of athletes are awesome on the field and then just plain jacktards off the field. Ortiz doesn't seem that way at all. Anytime you seem on TV or read about him in the clubhouse he is a pretty happy go lucky guy. It also turns out he is a pretty stand up citizen.
According to the Washington Post, Justin Rollins, before being deployed to Iraq, met Ortiz and received a signed ball from him. Sadly, Rollins was killed in Iraq and Ortiz was so broken up that he sent a jersey and a autographed ball that was put in Rollin's coffin.
Some of you might not think it is that big of a deal, but I think it is a great gesture from one of baseball's nicer guys.
So to sum up: Ortiz can probably break Chuck Norris in half, and fight Jack Bauer to a draw.