Former Red Sox designated hitter and first baseman David Ortiz was voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon in his first year of eligibility. And boy, was his reaction special.
Ortiz, who began his career with the Minnesota Twins, played 20 seasons in the MLB, was a three-time World Series champion, a 10-time All-Star and seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner
Surrounded by family, friends and former teammates, flanked by Pedro Martinez, Big Papi took the call from Jack O’Connell of the Baseball Writers Association of America who informed him of his induction.
Ortiz was recognized as one of the most clutch hitters in his generation and perhaps in all of baseball history. He had a career .286/.380/.552 slash, a 141 OPS+, 541 home runs (17th all-time), 632 doubles (12th all-time), 1,768 RBIs (23rd all-time), 2,472 hits and 1,319 walks (T-41st all-time).
He had 10 seasons of at least 100 RBIs, finished in the top five of the AL MVP voting in five straight seasons from 2003-07 and finished his career by leading the Majors in OPS (1.021), ranking sixth in the MVP vote in that age-40 season of 2016.
In 85 career postseason games, Ortiz slashed .289/.404/.543 with 22 doubles, two triples, 17 homers, 61 RBIs and 51 runs.
Ortiz released the following statement after getting the call:
“I am truly honored and blessed by my selection to the Hall of Fame — the highest honor that any baseball player can reach in their lifetime. I am grateful to the baseball writers who considered my career in its totality, not just on the statistics, but also on my contributions to the Red Sox, the City of Boston and all of Red Sox Nation. I am also grateful to my teammates, my managers and coaches and Red Sox ownership for their faith in me and allowing me to be part of three world championships.
“For a young boy from Santo Domingo, I always dreamed of playing professional baseball. Thanks to the encouragement of my father, Leo, and my mother, Angela Rosa, I knew from my earliest days at Estudia Espaillat High School in the Dominican Republic that I had the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing in the big leagues. And while my path to success was not straightforward, it was my friend, the Hall of Famer, Pedro Martinez, who convinced the Red Sox to give me a chance to achieve success. And while my path to Boston took 10 years, those 14 years in a Red Sox uniform were the best of my life. We broke the curse and then got two more championships before I retired in 2016 — what a sweet and beautiful journey it has been.
“I am so thankful to my family and my children for being with me tonight on this special recognition. And I know my mother is throwing me kisses from heaven just like I always threw her a kiss after every home run.”