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Thornton has a fan in Red Sox' 'Big Papi'

Wednesday, 12.16.2009 / 3:05 PM / 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic
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Thornton has a fan in Red Sox\' \'Big Papi\'
Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton recently discovered he has a fan in slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz of the Red Sox.
BOSTON -- Shawn Thornton  checked out his soon-to-be digs at Fenway Park Sunday afternoon and already had his eye on which locker he would occupy in the cramped Boston Red Sox dressing room when the NHL takes over Fenway Park on New Year's Day for the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic game between the Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.

'Big Papi' came to a game a couple weeks ago and he likes fighting and I got into a fight that game and the next day I'm sitting on my couch at like 7 p.m. and my doorbell rang and 'Big Papi' had sent over a bat signed to me; so he is my new favorite baseball player. It said you're a bad (guy) or something like that and then he signed it. - Shawn Thornton
He wants to settle in to the stall that Dave "Big Papi" Ortiz -- the Red Sox's personable slugger -- calls home throughout the summer. It seems that Thornton and Ortiz have a budding friendship brewing over their shared love of the fistic aspect of hockey, an aspect that Thornton excels at for the Bruins.

Thornton told NHL.com the story of their kinship at Monday's morning skate.

"'Big Papi' came to a game a couple weeks ago and he likes fighting and I got into a fight that game and the next day I'm sitting on my couch at like 7 p.m. and my doorbell rang and 'Big Papi' had sent over a bat signed to me; so he is my new favorite baseball player. It said you're a bad (guy) or something like that and then he signed it.

"I was like a kid on Christmas. I don't get wound up too much, but that was pretty exciting. I don't know if I was supposed to send something back. I don't think he wants anything to do with me. That was really nice of him and he's bought my friendship -- I'm a 'Big Papi' fan, through and through."

But Thornton's bid to occupy Ortiz's dressing room digs may run into a road block. It seems Ortiz has a double-stall locker setup befitting someone that goes by the moniker of "Big Papi."

Thornton seemed crestfallen when he learned that piece of news, understanding that such palatial digs may not be the province of role players such as himself.

"'Big Z' (Zdeno Chara) or one of the goalies might have to get it. That'll be too bad."

Actually, Thornton could care less where he sits. He just wants to be involved in the game, which will be a lifelong memory.

"Now that it is getting closer, it's pretty exciting. It's only a couple of weeks away, so it's creeping up on us pretty quick. I'm pretty pumped for it."

Author: Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Managing Editor

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