By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. July 25, 2022: A Caribbean immigrant and star baseball player has been inducted into the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame.
David “Big Papi” Ortiz, the Dominican Republic born player, is the first career designated hitter to be selected on first ballot into the Hall of Fame when this year’s round of results was announced in January. Ortiz is now the fourth Dominican-born player to be enshrined at the Hall of Fame, joining his longtime friend Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Juan Marichal.
“Wow! Cooperstown!,” Ortiz began his speech to the crowd sprawled across the grounds at the Clark Sports Complex.
He thanked the baseball writers for the honor in his typically high-energy fashion, saying, “You guys got it going on.”
Delivering his remarks in both English and Spanish, Ortiz said, “This is a such incredible day. An incredible honor.”
The gathering was heavily flavored with Red Sox gear sporting Ortiz’s No. 34 and numerous flags representing the Dominican Republic.
Ortiz, who has dual citizenship, also thanked America before offering up a travel promo for his original home, saying, “To all of my American friends, consider this as an open invitation to visit my island. The Dominican Republic has a special flavor. We have a lot of good and happy people, beautiful beaches where you guys can go when you guys are freezing here.”
During his 20-season MLB career, Ortiz bashed 541 homers while finishing the top five of AL MVP balloting five straight seasons over a period ending in 2007. In 2016, he enjoyed one of the great final seasons in history, hitting 38 homers with a league-leading 127 RBIs while also pacing the circuit in doubles, slugging percentage and OPS.
When Ortiz joined Boston in 2003, the Red Sox were still laboring under the Curse of the Bambino, the label given to Boston’s title drought that began after their 1918 World Series win. The Red Sox snapped that streak in Ortiz’s second season with the club. By the time he retired, Boston had added two more championships.
In 2013, Ortiz was named MVP of the World Series win against St. Louis, going 11-for-16 at the plate with eight walks over six games.