Former Dominican slugger David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz was elected this Tuesday as a member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, the only nominee selected on this occasion, who receives the distinction after overcoming a sea of adversity.
Ortiz became the 18th Latin American chosen to enter the hall of the Major League immortals.
After 541 home runs, 1,768 RBIs, three World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox (2004, 2007 and 2013) and 10 All-Star Games, Ortiz was chosen on his first ballot by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) with 77.9% of the votes.
“We are still shocked. Really, it is news that is not easy to process (…). When you enter the Hall of Fame, be it the first (occasion), be it the tenth, be it whatever , you entered a very select group”, celebrated the ex-player at a press conference in his native Santo Domingo. “My mind will take a couple of days to absorb it,” he added.
The Dominican, who played 20 Major League seasons with the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox, will be officially inducted on July 24. Ortiz was the only one chosen by the BBWAA in this election.
‘Big Papi’ is the fourth Dominican-born player to arrive in Cooperstown, joining former pitchers Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez, as well as former slugger Vladimir Guerrero Sr.
“This is my achievement, but I understand that it is also the achievement of a country, of a nation, because every time they exalt one of us who fights to put the name of the Dominican Republic high, it is something that is an achievement. for all of us,” Ortiz told reporters.
“I am truly honored and blessed by my election to the Hall of Fame, the highest honor a player can receive in his life,” he had previously expressed in a statement released by the Red Sox.
“As a kid from Santo Domingo, I always dreamed of playing professional baseball,” he said.
The Quisqueyan star received congratulations from other great baseball stars who already light up Cooperstown.
“Congratulations to ‘Big Papi’ on his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Watching you grow from a kid in Minnesota to a powerhouse in Boston was a real treat. Well deserved!” Rob Carew congratulated him, among others. , Panamanian member of the Hall of Fame.
With his smile and charisma, Ortiz was one of the benchmarks in baseball in 2000 and 2010, earning the affection of fans of his team and even those who sympathized with his rivals.
The Dominican had 23 hits that sentenced games, including three during the 2004 postseason, in which Boston exorcised an 86-year curse without winning the World Series.
The stellar striker was exempt from the doping substance scandals, a situation that has vetoed stellar figures such as Barry Bonds (762 home runs) and Roger Clemens (winner of seven Cy Young Awards) from the Hall of Fame.
The three-time World Series champion has stayed in the spotlight after retiring, being an analyst for Fox Sports during the postseason.
Ortiz was hospitalized in 2019 after being shot in the Dominican. His recovery required three surgeries and doctors removed his gallbladder and parts of his intestines and colon.
Last December, the group of immortal Latin Americans had grown thanks to the election, by the Golden Age Committee, of Cubans Orestes ‘Minnie’ Miñoso and Tony Oliva.
Former Panamanian reliever Mariano Rivera (with the Yankees), has been the only one chosen unanimously, in 2019, when he was named on each of the 425 BBWAA ballots.
Ortiz joins Rivera, Puerto Ricans Iván Rodríguez and the late Roberto Clemente, as well as fellow Panamanian Carew as the only Latino players to be inducted in their first year of eligibility.
There is a lot of history of this player in the Majors, where he won seven Silver Sluggers, two Hank Aaron awards (2015 and 2016) and a Roberto Clemente award (2011). He was the best home run hitter in 2006 and the leading RBI three times (2005, 2006 and 2016).