BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - David "Big Papi" Oritz has officially played his way into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The former Boston Red Sox player is just the fourth from the Dominican Republic to be inducted.
Ortiz was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first try Tuesday, as the lone member of the 2022 class. For Bostonians, Ortiz was the legendary heart and soul of the Red Sox from 2003-2016. Big Papi hit .286 with 541 home runs, 1,768 RBI, 2,472 hits, 1,419 runs scored and a .330 on-base percentage over 20 MLB seasons. What's more, he was instrumental in bringing three World Series titles (2004, 2007, 2013) to Boston.
Who doesn't remember his role in Boston's drought-breaking 2004 postseason, when the Red Sox finally conquered rival New York Yankees and won their first World Series in 86 years?
The Red Sox organization released a statement from Big Papi:
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.
Big Papi was at home when he received the thrilling news.
Ortiz will be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York, on July 24, along with six selections of the Golden Days and Early Baseball Era committees -- Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva and the late Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Minnie Miñoso and Buck O’Neil.
WBZ's Jim Mackay (@JimMacKayonAir) reports