United Cigars is getting ready to kick off the baseball season with a bang, as it is bringing back the Big Papi Firecracker in celebration of Opening Day.

The cigar is a 3 1/2 x 50 short robusto that was originally released in March 2022 as a project limited to 1,000 boxes of 20 cigars. It is made by Artista Cigars and uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Dominican negrito binder, and a filler that contains Dominican criollo 98, Nicaraguan tobacco grown in Jalapa, and Pennsylvanian broadleaf. Like other cigars in the Firecracker series, the cap features an extended twist of tobacco that gets tucked under the band and is designed to replicate the fuse on a firecracker.

The blend is a variation of Artista’s The Slugger cigar, which came out in the summer of 2019.

This new batch of the Big Papi Firecracker is priced at $7.99 per cigar and $159.80 per box of 20, the same price as the original batch. This re-release is much more limited than the original, however, as just 200 boxes are being released, compared to 1,000 boxes for the original batch.

Each box features a QR code that will take consumers to a thank you video from David Ortiz, who is known as “Big Papi” and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022 after an 20-year career in Major League Baseball that included 10 All-Star Game appearances and three World Series championships with the Boston Red Sox, including one in 2013 when he was named the Most Valuable Player.

Ortiz also autographed a number of boxes, which appears on the inside of the lid. The company said that between the two releases, just 10 boxes have been signed.

“This was a special project that I wanted to be a part of,” said Ram Rodriguez of Artista Cigars, via 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.”

The cigars are currently available for retailers to order and are ready to ship to stores.

Images courtesy of United Cigars.

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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.