The David Ortiz Bridge, on Brookline Avenue, above Mass Pike, connects Fenway Park with Kenmore Square in Boston. From there, it’s about four hours to Cooperstown, NY, which will soon be home to another lasting mark on Ortiz’s outsized legacy.
Ortiz, whose wit and swagger helped make the Boston Red Sox the most successful franchise of the new century, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday. In his first year on the ballot, Ortiz was the only candidate to pass the 75% threshold required for the election, collecting 77.9% of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The election was the 10th and final verdict by the writers on the candidacy of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, longtime superstars whose records have been tarnished by their involvement in performance-enhancing drugs. . Bond, whose 762 home runs are the most in Major League Baseball history, received 66% of the vote, while Clemens, who has won a record seven Cy Young Awards, got 65.2.
“This is a guy who took the game to the next level, completely different – just like Roger, the Rocket,” Ortiz said of Bonds and Clemens on a video conference call Tuesday night. “Honestly, when I see these guys, I don’t even compare myself to them because I’ve seen so many times those guys perform, and it’s so special. Without them joining me, it’s hard to believe you right now, because of them, they’ve done it all. ”
Two other prominent names also voted: Curt Schilling, who hit more than 3,000 hits, and Sammy Sosa, who hit more than 600 hosts. Schilling, who joked online about journalists scamming, collected 58.6% of the vote in his 10th year of eligibility, and Sosa, who has close ties to steroid use, only 18.5%. Like the Bonds and Clemens, they could still be elected in the coming years by small committees.
Ortiz will be honored at a ceremony in Cooperstown at the end of July with Jim Kaat and Tony Olivawho were selected by committees in December. Four others were also elected later and will be posthumously posthumous: Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Minnie Miñoso and Buck O’Neil.
Ortiz received 307 out of 405 writers’ votes to become the second Hall of Famer from the Red Sox to break the curse. He is joined by former pitcher Pedro Martinez, also a native of the Dominican Republic, who was inducted in 2015 and celebrated with Ortiz on Tuesday. In 2004, their team won the franchise’s first title in more than eight decades – a drought that was perhaps a cosmic punishment for selling the infamous Babe Ruth to the Yankees.
A burly, likable left-hander, Ortiz cut a Ruthian character, with a similar preference for the big moments. In three World Series – all winning – he hit 0.455 with a slip-on-base of 1.372 plus a miss, both records among players with at least 50 appearances.
Ortiz was named the World Series’ most valuable player in 2013, when he scored 11 goals for his 16th with two home goals and eight games against St.Louis. He was also the MVP of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Yankees, winning two late hits that saw the Red Sox face disqualification to help Boston overcome a three-game lossless deficit.
“I’m always worried about going home without a title,” Ortiz said. “That’s what I used to have nightmares about. And it happened a few times, but it was a go or die situation, and I was really prepared for that. “
When voting Ortiz on his first chance, most voters chose not to penalize him for his association with the steroid era. The Times reported in 2009 that Ortiz was tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, when the baseball team conducted a survey test (with no penalty) that was said to have been anonymous.
In 2016, shortly before Ortiz’s retirement, Commissioner Rob Manfred cited “legitimate scientific questions about whether those questions are actually positive”. Ortiz insists he never intentionally cheated, and cast doubt on Tuesday about test results from 2003.
“We’ve had people come up with this list that you don’t know of anyone who has tested positive,” Ortiz said Tuesday. “Suddenly people were pointing fingers at me, but then we started being tested for drugs and I have never failed a test. What does that tell you? ”
Indeed, Ortiz enjoyed nearly all of his success during the trial period, which began with penalties in 2004. Introduced by Seattle as a minor diver in 1996 and recognized Minnesota debuted six years later, Ortiz became a star in Boston, making 10 All-Star teams and winning seven Silver Slugger Awards as a designated hitter. He’s had 541 home runs in his career, 1,768 hits and a hit average of 0.286, with a hold percentage of 0.380 and a miss rate of .552.
Manny Ramirez, who partnered Ortiz in Boston’s midfield for most of the 2000s, had better overall stats but fell short to Cooperstown. In his sixth appearance on the ballot, Ramirez collected only 28.9 percent of the vote, reflecting many writers’ stance on players suspended for steroid use.
The Hall of Fame has never issued specific guidelines for judging the so-called steroid era, but the organization does instruct writers to consider not only players’ on-field records but also “integrity” , personality and sportsmanship”. Voters were left to interpret what that meant, and some made a distinction between drug use in the pre- and post-trial era. (The New York Times does not allow writers to vote.)
Ramirez was suspended twice, and Alex Rodriguez once. Rodriguez, who hit 696 hometown players during his career, has made a surprising public comeback, gaining popularity on television and social media and join a professional basketball ownership group. But he failed to convince the writers to overlook his misconduct, and received 34.3% of the vote in his first appearance on the ballot.
As a Yankee in 2009, Rodriguez acknowledged his past steroid use and asked people to “rate me from this day forward” at a press conference. But he soon reverted to banned drugs, admitting to investigators that he used performance-enhancing drugs between 2010 and 2012, which led to his suspension for the 2014 season.
Among the other candidates on the ballot, Scott Rolen, who came in third, continues to have momentum towards the final election. Rolen, who spent most of his career in Philadelphia and St. Louis, received 63.2 percent of the vote, up from 52.9 percent last year and 35.3 percent in 2020. Only 17 people finished third in the Hall of Fame — the least for any person. position – and Rolen won eight Golden Gloves.
Todd Helton is also on a similar trajectory, reaching 52%, up from 44.9 last year and 29.2 in 2020. While Helton plays his home games in celebrities’ paradise in Colorado, his average is 0.316, a percentage on a 0.414 basis and a 0.539 slippage rate is unusual; the only players to top all three characters (with at least 3,000 disc appearances) are Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams.
Schilling has been electrified, gathering 71.1% of the vote last year, more than any other candidate. Known as one of baseball’s top October performers, including as a teammate of Ortiz, Schilling has since amplified his rhetoric in the media. society and asked the Hall of Fame to remove his name from the ballot because he disrespected the writers. Hall refused the request, but another ending also ran did it for him.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/25/sports/baseball/david-ortiz-hall-of-fame.html David Ortiz Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame