Spring training starts tomorrow and the newest cigar from David Ortiz is heading to stores today.
The Big Papi Firecracker is a 3 1/2 x 50 short robusto that uses a modified version of the Big Papi Slugger blend: a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Dominican negrito binder and filler tobaccos that include Dominican criollo 98, leaves from Jalapa, Nicaragua, and broadleaf from Pennsylvania.
MSRP is set at $7.99 per cigar and it is limited to 1,000 boxes of 20 cigars. Each box contains a QR code that will lead to a video from Ortiz and 10 boxes are signed by Ortiz on the inside.
“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 in January. “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.”
Like the rest of the Firecracker cigars, it will be sold by United Cigars to stores nationwide, though the roots of the line date back to 2007 and Two Guys Smoke Shop, a New Hampshire-based chain of retailers owned by Dave Garofalo, who also owns United. The Firecracker cigars are typically a 3 1/2 x 50 petit robusto that feature a long pigtail. Over the years, a variety of manufacturers have made Firecracker Series including Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, Fratello, Kristoff, La Flor Dominicana, My Father, Perdomo, RoMa Craft Tobac and Tatuaje.
The Big Papi The Slugger debuted in 2019, the second blend from Ortiz’s partnership with Tabacalera El Artista. Ortiz is a legendary baseball player whose career earned him three World Series rings with the Boston Red Sox, 10 All-Star Game selections, seven Silver Slugger Awards and, most recently, a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Update (March 6, 2023) — In the original version of this article David Garofalo’s name was misspelled.