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Welcome to Cooperstown, Big Papi inducted into the Hall of Fame

Image Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Cooperstown, NY- Big Papi will stand in baseball pantheons for an eternity. This past Sunday afternoon, David Ortiz set his name among legends as he was inducted into the Cooperstown National Baseball Hall of Fame. Fans of all ages traveled from across the globe to upstate New York with plans to cherish their superhero. Dominican Republic flags paraded outside the Clark Sports Center as 35,000 were in attendance to witness Ortiz make history. 

Ortiz became the fourth Dominican in MLB history to be inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. Big Papi joins the legendary list of Juan Marichal (1983), Pedro Martinez (2015), and Vladimir Guerrero (2018). “Before I was Big Papi, before the Red Sox, before the Minnesota Twins, I was just a kid playing ball in the Dominican Republic,” said Ortiz.

David Ortiz Career Statistics

541 HR – 17th in MLB history

1,768 RBI – 23rd in MLB history

1,192 Extra Base Hits – 8th in MLB history

209 Intentional Walks – 16th in MLB history

Image Credit: Daniel Budasoff/Latino Sports

Consistently delivered in the clutch throughout his 20-year career, Ortiz ranks among the greatest designated hitters the game has ever seen. Three players shape out designated hitters inducted into the Hall of Fame: Harold Baines (2019), Edgar Martinez (2019), and Big Papi (2022). Earning the first ballot nod to Cooperstown, voted on by BBWAA, Ortiz received approximately 77.9% of the votes. He is the first designated hitter inducted into the Hall with a first ballot nomination. 

You tend to look back on certain moments in sports and remember exactly where you were down to the details. The clutch situations, the scenarios that change the landscape of your season. Well, those moments define the legend of Ortiz. Within one smack of the bat, Big Papi set his mark on the game. Baseball fans can argue back and forth on #34s most clutch moments, but Latino Sports will save you the time. 

There’s plenty to go around in the Ortiz trophy case. A 3-time World Series Champion, 10-time All-Star, 7-time Silver Slugger, and most importantly a two-time recipient of the LatinoMVP. The most prestigious and oldest awards given to Latin ballplayers, many of whom view the LatinoMVP as a “Latin Grammy”. The Santo Domingo native was named the American League LatinoMVP in back-to-back seasons (2005 and 2006). 

His daughter, Alex Veda Ortiz opened the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Class of 2022 with a beautiful singing of the US national anthem. During post-ceremony media availability, Ortiz chuckled, saying “Running around the house, singing. In the car, singing. Everywhere we go, singing. So I’ve been watching her for a minute singing the national anthem.” 

During his phenomenal induction speech, Ortiz alternated between Spanish and English, making for loud abruptions from the crowd. He recognized his parents, his family, along with several former teammates and coaches. 

Image Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

“When Pedro was inducted, I was still playing. So this was like my first time around here during the induction. I’m so used to watching it on TV that I can’t believe I was sitting out there with all the superstars and the greatest,” Ortiz said on Sunday. 

Ortiz revealed, “Going through this speech and putting it together, I think I cried a lot. Even this morning, I was crying every time I touched base about my mom. So, I guess it just gets to the point where repeating things over, over, and over. I mean, it kinda cures a little.”

Big Papi wasn’t just a ballplayer with elite numbers. I viewed him as an icon. In terms of video games, Ortiz was the ultimate “create a player”. A superhero figure with a storybook ending for the Dominican Republic. Congratulations on the induction to the Hall. Salute to the two-time LatinoMVP David Ortiz. 

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Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports

Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994


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