While United Cigars’ Firecracker Series is most commonly associated with the 4th of July, this year the company is also celebrating the start of the baseball season with the Big Papi Firecracker, the line created by former Major League ballplayer David Ortiz and El Artista Cigars.

The dimensions of the cigar remain the same as others in the series, meaning a 3 1/2 x 50 short robusto. The blend features a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Dominican negrito binder, and a filler that contains Dominican criollo 98, Jalapa-grown tobacco from Nicaragua, and Pennsylvania broadleaf. It is a variation on the Slugger line, which debuted in 2019.

The cigars are being offered in 20-count boxes with production limited to 1,000 boxes; 10 of those boxes are signed on the inside by Ortiz. Additionally, each box will have a QR code that will direct the consumer to a special video from Ortiz thanking them for purchasing the cigar.

Ortiz played 14 seasons in Major League Baseball, earning 10 All-Star Game selections and seven Silver Slugger Awards, and was on three World Series winning teams with the Boston Red Sox. He is currently on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, with those results being announced on Tuesday.

“This was a special project that I wanted to be a part of,” said Ram Rodriguez, owner of El Artista Cigars, in a press release. “This Firecracker is a unique vitola and for a Big Papi Firecracker it had to be special. I wanted tobacco that was grown in the Dominican in the 60’s and Dominican Negrito was that tobacco.”

MSRP is set at $7.99 per cigar, or $159.99 for a box of 20 cigars. They will be on display this week’s TPE 2022 in Las Vegas and are expected to begin shipping in the second half of March.

United Cigars has also announced that it will be releasing the Bandolero Firecracker in June.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.