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  • Tim Burke

David Ortiz to be Immortalized in Cooperstown

Two of my biggest hobbies are baseball and history. Naturally the Baseball Hall of Fame is one of my favorite places on earth. A museum to tell the history of America’s pastime. Unfortunately, due to the politics of BBWAA the Hall of Fame often does not serve its purpose. They failed to allow Bonds and Clemens into the Hall of Fame despite being two of the greatest to ever play. PED’s do tarnish their legacy but you cannot tell the story of the history of baseball without talking about steroids. However, the BBWAA did get something right this past voting process. They voted David Ortiz in as the Hall’s newest member.

David Ortiz being a first ballot Hall of Famer is a pleasant surprise. In the past, the BBWAA has had extreme prejudice against the Designated Hitter position. Questioning whether DH’s belonged in the Hall and often snubbing them of awards such as the MVP, which they snubbed Ortiz of in his final season. However, they have started to come a long way when it comes to Designated Hitters. Allowing Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz into Cooperstown. I must applaud them for their progress on this matter. David Ortiz deserved to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He is the most important player to ever wear the Red Sox uniform. As a Red Sox fan, I do not think I can say enough good things about David Ortiz. His postseason heroics in 2004 broke the curse of the bambino and shifted the rivalry between Boston and New York into the Red Sox favor. Ever since then, David Ortiz has been a Boston Sports hero. However, his heroics did not cease. The 2013 Red Sox are a special team in the hearts of Boston. The people of Boston endured a terrible tragedy in 2013 with the Boston Bombing. The city rallied around the hard working, underdog Boston Red Sox team quest to win a third World Series title in nine years. Thanks to David Ortiz’s unforgettable game tying grand slam in the 2nd game of the 2013 ALCS they won the American League Pennant. In the World Series, David Ortiz was called upon to be the hero again. He hit .688 with 2 home runs and brought a World Series title to Boston when the city needed something to cheer for.

David Ortiz is not the greatest Red Sox player to ever wear the uniform. His legacy is more important. Ortiz was a special kind of baseball player. His legacy is more than three World Series titles and 541 home runs. His on field heroics were so unbelievable you had to see them with your own eyes to believe them. Off the field, he was better. In 2011, Ortiz was recognized with the Roberto Clemente Award which according to the MLB “goes to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team". Ortiz won the award for his commitment for children to receive proper pediatric care in the United States and his home country, the Dominican Republic. The Roberto Clemente Award is baseball’s highest honor.

This being less than half his story shows that David Ortiz is a legend and icon to Boston more than perhaps any other athlete is to their city. I do not have the proper words to describe how much David Ortiz meant to Red Sox fans, the city and me. He simply is the greatest clutch hitter in the history of baseball, the most legendary player in Red Sox history and now a Hall of Famer. Congratulations to David Ortiz!



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