COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The roster of Boston Red Sox players immortalized in Cooperstown is rich with the likes of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Jim Rice. Sunday, David Ortiz became the newest member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, adding to the organization’s pedigree.
Ortiz, or “Big Papi,” as he was known by many baseball fans, was the only member of the seven-man class to be voted in by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. In just his first year on the 2022 player ballot, he earned 77.9% of votes, surpassing the 75% requirement to be inducted.
Ortiz highlighted a class that included former Minnesota Twins right fielder Tony Oliva, 16-time Gold Glove winning pitcher Jim Kaat, and three-time World Series champion Gil Hodges.
Over the duration of his 20-year career, Ortiz earned 10 All-Star selections, seven Silver Sluggers, and a World Series Most Valuable Player honor in 2013.
When it came time for Ortiz to deliver his speech, he remained as cool and collected as ever. He mentioned many of his Red Sox teammates, who helped the lefty slugger to win three World Series titles. And he was sure to thank his fans for their many years of support.
“Even with a God-given talent that I have, I don’t think I would have made it without the support and love coming from all of you,” said Ortiz.
Dominican flags and Boston accents mixed as thousands flooded the streets of Cooperstown, NY, to watch their hero get his plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Throughout the duration of Ortiz’s speech, the generations who had watched him end Boston’s 86-year championship drought hung on his every word. And he concluded with one final message:
“If my story can remind you of anything, let it remind you that when you believe in someone, you can change their world,” said Ortiz. “You can change their future, just like so many people who believed in me.”