Longtime Boston Red Sox player David “Big Papi” Ortiz was the lone selection for the National Baseball Hall of Fame (NBHOF) – Class of 2022.
The Dominican American slugger received the news Tuesday night over the phone by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who vote each year on candidates for the NBHOF. Ortiz made the cut on his first year of eligibility by receiving 307 votes on the 394 ballots (77.9%). A player must receive at least 75% of the vote to be selected.
“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,” Ortiz said in a statement. “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 the 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 apart of three World Championships.”
Ortiz played 20 seasons in the Major Leagues, six with the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002) and 14 with the Red Sox (2003-2016). He ended his career with 2,472 hits, 541 homeruns, 10 all-star appearances, three World Series championships and a World Series MVP award, among other accolades. His baseball uniform number, 34, was retired by the Red Sox in 2017.
The election of Ortiz to the NBHOF came with some controversy. In 2003, Ortiz’s name was linked to a group of players who were accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. Official drug testing wasn’t officially implemented into the league until the following year and the MLB called the tests that Ortiz took “inconclusive.” Ortiz never tested positive once testing began in 2004 and has always denied the accusations.
Watch David Ortiz celebrate the Hall of Fame induction below.