Former Red Sox designated hitter and first baseman David Ortiz was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Tuesday afternoon in his first year of eligibility. And boy, was his special reaction.
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 a seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
Surrounded by family, friends and former teammates, flanked by Pedro Martinez, Big Papi received 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 best hitters of 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). times), 2,472 hits and 1,319 walks (T-41 all-time).
He had 10 seasons of at least 100 RBIs, finished in the top five in AL MVP voting in five consecutive seasons from 2003 to 2007, and finished his career leading the Majors in OPS (1,021), ranking sixth place in the Most Valuable Player voting in that age-40 2016 season.
In 85 career postseason games, Ortiz slashed .289/.404/.543 with 22 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs, 61 RBIs and 51 runs scored.
Ortiz issued the following statement after receiving the call:
“I am truly honored and blessed by my selection to the Hall of Fame, the highest honor that any baseball player can achieve in his life. I am grateful to the baseball writers who considered my career in its entirety, not just in statistics, but also in my contributions to the Red Sox, the City of Boston, and the entire Red Sox Nation. I am also grateful to my teammates, my managers and coaches and the Red Sox ownership for their faith in me and allowing me to be a part of three world championships.
“As a young man from Santo Domingo, I always dreamed of playing professional baseball. Thanks to the support of my father, Leo, and my mother, Ángela Rosa, I knew from my first days at the Estudios 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 wasn’t easy, it was my friend, Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, who convinced the Red Sox to give me a chance at success. And while my journey 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 went on to get two more championships before I retired in 2016. It has been such a sweet and beautiful journey.
“I am very grateful to my family and my children for being with me tonight for this special recognition. And I know my mom is blowing me kisses from heaven like I always used to blow her a kiss after every home run.”