Hall of Fame inductee David Ortiz, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, speaks during the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York.

David Ortiz leads the Baseball Hall of Fame volunteers after a stellar career

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David Ortiz was among the baseball legends recruited in Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday.

Tony Oliva, Jim Cat, Jill Hodges, Minnie Minoso, Buck O’Neill and Bud Fowler Join Ex Boston Red Sox Great in Cooperstown.

Ortiz was a 10-time All-Star for the Red Sox from 2003 to 2016. He was integral in helping Boston break the “Bambino Curse” and win its first World Championship title in 2004 – the organization’s first since 1918. Boston also won it in 2007 and 2013. Ortiz was the best player at the 2013 World Championships.

Ortiz originally started as a member of the Minnesota Twins. He played six years with the Twins but was given up after the 2002 season. Boston signed him in January 2003 and his career changed fundamentally there.

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Hall of Fame inductee David Ortiz, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, speaks during the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

After appearing to be ostracized by the twins, Ortiz ended up playing for another 14 years in Boston. He finished his career with 541 home runs, .286 middle strikes and .931 OPS. He will become one of the most fearsome hitters in baseball whether it’s the regular season or the postseason.

“If my story reminds you of anything, let it remind you that if you believe in someone, you can change their world,” he said at his Hall of Fame induction. “You can change their future, just like a lot of the people who believed in me.”

Ortiz also became a major figure in Boston, outside of the World Championships. His speech in Fenway Park after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings helped bring the city back together. It was a moment he touched upon in his speech as well.

“We have some amazing memories. When I think of Boston, I definitely think of 2004, 2007 and of course 2013, after the city was rocked by the bombing of a marathon. I’ve never seen a community reunite like Boston,” he said.

Baseball Hall of Fame inductee David Ortiz speaks to reporters during a news conference after his induction tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday, May 2, 2022, in Cooperstown, New York. The former Boston Red Sox player is inducted July 24.

Baseball Hall of Fame inductee David Ortiz speaks to reporters during a news conference after his induction tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday, May 2, 2022, in Cooperstown, New York. The former Boston Red Sox player is inducted July 24.
(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

“When I think of Boston, I also think of the last game I played, standing on the field at Fenway Park. I felt like the whole city of New England and every one of you was surrounding me and was all showing me your love. I’ll always be Boston, and I’ll always be there for you, Boston.” I love you, Boston.”

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Ortiz’s appearance in Cooperstown also came two years after he was the wrong target of an assassination attempt in the Dominican Republic. The gallbladder and parts of the intestine and colon were removed in subsequent surgeries.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame with 77.9% of the American Baseball Writers Association’s vote.

Oliva, Cat, Hodges, Minoso, O’Neill, and Fowler were among those who voted via the Veterans Committee.

Oliva was a three-time batting champion and eight-time All-Star with the Twins from 1962 to 1976. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year title in 1964—his first full season with Minnesota.

Kat has won the All-Star Award three times and 16 times in the Golden Glove. He played 15 years of his 25-year career with the twins. He won the 1982 World Championships with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Hodges was a star for the Brooklyn Dodgers and managed New York Mets to their first world championship title in 1969.

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Minoso was the first black player in Chicago White Sox history and the first African-Latino in the majors. He played for 12 years with the White Sox from 1951 to 1957, 1960-1961, 1964, 1976 and 1980. He was one of the first over-50s speculators to land a hit. After age 50, it was 1 for 10.

From left to right, National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Jim Kat, Tony Oliva and David Ortiz hold their plaques during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York

From left to right, National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Jim Kat, Tony Oliva and David Ortiz hold their plaques during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

O’Neill was a star in the Negro Leagues at the Kansas City Monarchs. He became a leading advocate for the Negro Leagues after incorporating baseball and helped establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Fowler was one of the first known African Americans to play baseball. He grew up in Cooperstown and played baseball in more than a dozen leagues. He also helped form Page Fence Giants in Michigan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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