Charismatic, energetic, dedicated, humble, David Ortiz can be described in these and many more ways, and now the exceptional slugger also adds member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame to the list.
Nicknamed ‘Big Papi’, Ortiz became one of the best designated hitters who has stepped on the diamond, and on January 25 of this year, he was chosen to the Hall of the Immortals in his first year of eligibility. The only player in fact to be voted in this year.
“The simple fact of receiving that call, is an honor for me,” said the Dominican former power hitter, who was elected with 77.9% of the votes. “I thank God and all the people who have had to do with this, because this achievement is of a nation, and every time something like this happens, we raise the flag. It’s been extraordinary.”
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (November 18, 1975), Ortiz was originally signed by the Seattle Mariners, but made his major league debut on September 7, 1997, as a member of the Minnesota Twins against the Chicago Cubs.
David Ortiz was as a starter in his first six seasons with the Twins where he hit for 58 home runs and 238 RBIs in 455 games.
Stardom would then come for Ortiz when he signed with the Boston Red Sox after the Twins inexplicably failed to offer him a contract in 2003. In his first season he hit .288 with 31 home runs and 101 RBIs, and like a Hollywood movie, the rest is history.
From then on, the Dominican along with his compatriot Manny Ramírez became a fearsome duo, and Ortiz became one of the best clutch sluggers in ever in baseball.
The numbers speak for themselves. In his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he left a legacy of 483 home runs, which powered the Red Sox to be crowned in three World Series (2004, 2007 and 2013), in addition to being awarded seven Silver Bats and making the All-Star Game roster 10 times.
In addition, he was named the Fall Classic MVP in 2013, after hitting .688 with two walks and six RBIs in six games against the St. Louis Cardinals.
At the age of 40 due to the wear and tear on his knees, Ortiz said goodbye to Major League Baseball on October 2, 2016 where it was also announced that his number 34 would be retired at Fenway Park. He finished his career with a .286 average, 2,472 hits, 643 doubles, 541 home runs, and 1,750 walks in 23 seasons.
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— Red Sox (@RedSox) January 25, 2022
His big heart guided him to found “David Ortiz Children’s Fund”, with the mission of supporting low-income children in his native Dominican Republic and New England, with health care services to improve their well-being.
His eventual turn to reach the “Hall of the Immortals” was guaranteed, as his numbers easily place him as one of the best designated hitters, if not the best.
But his passage through the diamond went beyond the statistics, since the Quisqueyano left an unforgettable mark on the Boston and as an ambassador of the diamond.