David Ortiz Guest-Edits New England Edition of Sports Illustrated

It's the first time in the magazine's 62-year history that they've handed over the controls to an athlete.

On Monday, we highlighted the mesmerizing photo of Arnold Palmer at the 1960 British U.S. Open chosen for the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Oct. 3 national edition. Today, on the regional editions front, there is equally notable news.

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is on the cover of the Eastern regional edition, photographed at Fenway Park by Michael J. LeBrecht II. Even more notably, he is also the issue’s guest editor. From SI:

This is the first time in SI’s 62-year history that an athlete has guest-edited an issue. SI wanted to know what stories Ortiz wanted told and luckily, he agreed, saying: “The public thinks they know athletes, but they don’t really know what some people go through to get to this level… The media needs to tell these stories, because some of them are really special.” He pointed SI to his friend Al Horford, of the Boston Celtics, as a way to explore the brotherhood of Dominican athletes beyond their major-league dominance, and he asked SI to look into exactly what’s going on at Patriots headquarters, where his favorite NFL team is off to a 3–0 start.

Diehard Sox fans Seth Meyers and Michael Schur (creator of Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place) also contributed to the issue as they pay their respects to Ortiz in the form of an email chain following his career.

This is the fourth time Big Papi has appeared on a Sports Illustrated cover, and follows the magazine’s special recent retirement issue. There is also a centerpiece interview of the retiring Red Sox all-star with Tom Verducci. Ortiz is set to play his final game Oct. 2 at Fenway Park against the Blue Jays.

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.