David Ortiz Impresses Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. at Home Run Derby in 1996 (Video)

The small city of Appleton, Wis., played host to one serious display of star power in the summer of 1996.

As part of a barnstorming tour, the Ken Griffey Jr.– and Edgar Martinez-led Seattle Mariners stopped by Appleton for an exhibition against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the team’s Class-A affiliate at the time. When rain put the game on hold, the players decided to give the fans a show by holding an impromptu home run derby.

Among the contestants were Griffey (then at the height of his popularity) and a young Alex Rodriguez, but an unknown Timber Rattlers slugger wearing No. 47 stole the show. That man was David Ortiz, and even a hot-shot rookie like A-Rod was unable to contain his bewilderment at the punishment Ortiz was inflicting on the baseball.

Check out 20-year-old Big Papi’s display in the video below, with a hat tip to Grantland for digging it up.

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