BALTIMORE -- At last count, David Ortiz's selfie with President Barack Obama, taken at the Red Sox' visit to the White House Monday -- had been retweeted more than 40,000 times.
"You don't get an opportunity to get a photo with the President every day,'' said Ortiz. "That's a one time in life chance. It happened and I appreciate it. I've been lucky to be there a couple of times and it's a great experience. You get to hang out a small bit of time with the President. The President is super busy doing things, so it was an honor for us to be able to hang out with him for a short period of time.''
Several reports Wednesday suggested that Ortiz had signed a promotional deal with Samsung for the purpose of getting his picture taken with Obama, but he denied that it was part of a some pre-arrangement.
"I did take a lot of pictures at the White House,'' said Ortiz, "but it wasn't anything on purpose. I went around, just like anyone else, and took pictures. I signed a deal with Samsung a couple of months ago and they supplied me with phones and other stuff. But the photo with the President was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I didn't know he was going to let me take a picture with him. I really appreciate it.''
Ortiz insisted that the selfie was a spontaneous act, and not part of a planned business arrangement or part of his promotional deal.
"It just came out, right at the moment when I gave him the [Red Sox] jersey,'' said Ortiz, "and he told us to take pictures. I was like, 'Oh, wait a minute...let's see if I can get away with this.' I was lucky that I did. It was fun. It's something I'm never going to forget. People went crazy over that because you're never going to see that every day.
"It wasn't anything promotional or anything like that. Who knows that you're going to be able to take a picture with the president? How many people can guarantee that? It's something we don't even have to talk about.''
Ortiz was asked if he worried about reaching into his pocket to pulling out his phone, the Secret Service agents on hand might have been alarmed.
"We were talking about that afterwards,'' said Ortiz laughing. "I think it was super cool how everybody at the White House was. Everybody was super friendly. And the person we see on TV was the person we got, seeing how humble and cool he was. For every single one of us, it was a great experience. It doesn't get any better.''