Back in the summer of 1996, the Seattles Mariners traveled to Appleton, Wisconsin – 100 miles north of Milwaukee – and crammed 6,000 fans into Fox City Stadium, where the Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers played, for an exhibition game/promotional event.
After messing around for a while, Mariners catcher Dan Wilson came out of the dugout – completely unscripted – and challenged the Timber Rattlers to a 3 v. 3 home run derby. Naturally, Wilson picked Ken Griffey Jr. (49 HRs in 1996) and Alex Rodriguez (36 HRs in 1996) for his squad and told the Timber Rattlers to do the same with “any three guys!”
Well, at the time, the Timber Rattlers had a 20-year-old first baseman in his first full season of pro ball by the name of David Arias, who joined his teammates to try and beat the Major Leaguers.
And while the name David Arias might not ring a bell, you might be more familiar with him by his current name, David Ortiz – A.K.A. Big Papi:
Naturally, Ortiz crushed the HELL out of the ball and gave everyone a taste of his Hall-of-Fame-caliber future – I would have paid anything to be here.
You can read much more about this unbelievable day right here at ESPN.