It’s easy to find a shirt with David Ortiz’s name and familiar No. 34 on the back. But Tommy Bahama found a way to make that something unique.
The luxury sportswear company is making a collector’s edition silk shirt that features an image of Ortiz hitting a home run along with his career highlights and awards against a backdrop of the Green Monster. Only 550-650 shirts will be manufactured and they will retail for $250.
Ortiz will be the first active player on a Tommy Bahama shirt. Previous limited edition shirts paid tribute to Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Jackie Robinson.
“David fits into what we’re trying to do. He’s bigger than life,” said Doug Wood, the company’s chief executive officer. “I’m a big baseball fan and when we heard David was retiring it made sense he should be on a special edition. We wanted a piece of that.”
The individually numbered shirts will debut on March 21 during an event at the Tommy Bahama store and restaurant in Naples, Fla. Ortiz is expected to be on hand and will autograph approximately 100 of the shirts.
The David Ortiz Children’s Fund will receive 20 percent of the proceeds from the store that day.
“We wanted to make it an event,” Wood said. “Being involved with a player like David, that gets us excited internally. Our people are fired up.”
Tommy Bahama has made Major League Baseball-licensed individual team and spring training shirts for years as part of their line.
“I’m trying to deliver upscale product to baseball fans, somebody age 40 and up and who loves the game,” Wood said. “This is different than a team jersey. It’s something special.”
Tommy Bahama is based in Seattle and Wood admits he is Mariners fan.
“David is a heck of a guy. We look for individuals like him to have a connection with,” he said. “He signed with Seattle and they traded him. Our loss.”