SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — David Ortiz was again in Boston on Monday evening for medical care, a day after authorities stated the previous Pink Sox slugger affectionately referred to as Massive Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic.
A aircraft carrying the 43-year-old retired athlete landed after a flight from the Dominican, the staff stated.
Ortiz had been in steady situation in intensive care at a Santo Domingo hospital after medical doctors eliminated his gallbladder and a part of his gut, in accordance with his spokesman, Leo López. He stated Ortiz’s liver was additionally broken within the taking pictures Sunday evening.
Ortiz is likely one of the most beloved figures in sports activities historical past within the Dominican Republic and Boston, a fearsome energy hitter with a prepared smile. He led the Pink Sox to 3 World Sequence championships, was a 10-time All-Star and hit 541 dwelling runs.
Dozens of followers crowded the hospital earlier Monday, inflicting a visitors jam. Within the U.S., followers prayed for his restoration and wished him nicely, with New England Patriots star Julian Edelman assuring him on Instagram: “Papi, all of New England has your again.”
The Pink Sox provided “all out there assets” and despatched an air ambulance to deliver him again to Boston.
“He’s on the Mount Rushmore of Boston sports activities,” stated Eddie Romero, the staff’s assistant basic supervisor.
The membership requested followers to look at a second of reflection shortly earlier than taking part in the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park and posted on the videoboard: “We ship our like to David Ortiz.”
Ortiz was on the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on Sunday evening when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at shut vary within the torso, authorities stated.
The gunman was not instantly recognized or arrested and the motive for the taking pictures was beneath investigation, with authorities making an attempt to find out whether or not Ortiz was the goal.
The operator of the motorbike that was carrying the gunman was captured and crushed by a crowd of individuals on the bar, authorities stated.
Eliezer Salvador, who was on the scene, stated the gunman stated nothing, simply fired as soon as. Salvador then drove a wounded Ortiz to the hospital, telling reporters they’d a quick dialog within the automobile as he urged the baseball nice to remain calm and breathe.
“Do you will have any issues with anybody?” Salvador recalled asking him, to which Ortiz replied: “No, my brother, I’ve by no means wronged anybody.”
Salvador held up Ortiz’s bloody belongings for reporters, together with a few of his jewellery. He additionally apologized for hitting a number of automobiles whereas speeding to the hospital: “That wrongdoing was justified.”
Ortiz’s father, Leo, stated he had no concept why somebody would have shot at his son.
“He’s resting,” the elder Ortiz stated. “Massive Papi will likely be round for a very long time.”
He added that he’s happy with the medical consideration Ortiz has acquired however that he will likely be transferred to Boston so he will be together with his spouse and the Pink Sox medical staff.
Two different folks have been wounded, together with Jhoel López, a Dominican TV host who was with Ortiz. Police imagine López was wounded by the identical bullet, stated Nationwide Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte. López was shot within the leg, and his accidents weren’t life-threatening, stated his spouse, Liza Blanco, who can also be a TV host.
Police didn’t determine the third particular person or element that particular person’s accidents.
The bar is in a bustling nightlife district full of dance golf equipment and costly bars that Ortiz is thought to frequent.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Ivan Nova, who’s from the Dominican, stated the taking pictures rattled him.
“The best way that the whole lot goes proper now again in my nation, I’ve obtained to be trustworthy, I’m not very pleased to say what’s going on proper now over there,” Nova stated. “A whole lot of occasions I see guys who play on my staff coming to the US to dwell. The dream that you’ve got as a baseball participant is to have a great profession, after which return dwelling and spend time with your loved ones. Now you’ve obtained to consider if DR is a protected place so that you can be in. It’s a troublesome scenario.”
Ortiz, who retired after the 2016 season and lives at the least a part of the yr within the Dominican Republic, is usually seen getting his automobiles washed and hanging out with mates, together with different baseball gamers, artists and entertainers.
The Pink Sox retired his quantity, 34, in 2017, and Boston renamed a bridge and a stretch of street outdoors Fenway Park in his honor. He maintains a house in Weston, on the outskirts of Boston.
Ortiz galvanized town within the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that left three folks useless, bellowing by means of a megaphone at Fenway Park: “That is our (expletive) metropolis!”
“In 2013, once we wanted David Ortiz essentially the most, he was there for us,” Pink Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy stated Monday. “Our focus is on his well being and on getting him again right here for therapy.”
Related Press reporter Invoice Kole in Boston contributed to this report.
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