It was David Ortiz’s radiant smile and outsize character as a lot as his prowess on the plate that made the burly designated hitter some of the common gamers to come back out of the Dominican Republic or to put on the uniform of the Boston Crimson Sox.
And as Ortiz, wounded by an assailant’s bullet in Santo Domingo on Sunday night time, flew from his native nation to town the place his legend was constructed – and the place his therapy will proceed – followers and well-wishers in each locations hoped for one of the best for the 43-year-old ex-slugger referred to as Large Papi.
Ortiz, who retired in 2016 after a 20-year enjoying profession, was shot within the again at shut vary about 8:50 p.m. Sunday, in what was described as an ambush-style assault, as he sat at a streetside desk at a bar and restaurant within the Dominican capital. Rushed to a close-by clinic, he reportedly underwent six hours of surgical procedure to take away his gall bladder and components of his gut. Medical doctors additionally reported harm to his liver.
By Monday afternoon, Ortiz was in ok situation that medical personnel ready him to fly to Massachusetts Common Hospital in Boston on a personal airplane despatched by the Crimson Sox, for whom he nonetheless works as a particular assistant.
“David’s situation remains to be severe, however he’s steady sufficient to be transported again right here to Boston,” Crimson Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy mentioned at a information convention Monday at Fenway Park.
The airplane carrying Ortiz landed in Boston on Monday night time, in line with ESPN.
Ortiz’s media assistant, Leo Lopez, informed reporters the slugger is “out of hazard” and in steady situation however could be in intensive look after 24 hours. He mentioned Ortiz was closely sedated however wakened Monday morning and spoke briefly to members of the family.
Two others have been wounded within the assault on the Dial Bar and Lounge, together with Jhoel Lopez, a distinguished Dominican tv host who was with Ortiz on the time and was believed to have been struck by the identical bullet that hit Ortiz, in line with police officers in Santo Domingo. Lopez was hit within the thigh. In a safety video of the assault, Ortiz is seen sitting at a desk because the shooter, who arrived moments earlier on a bike, approaches from behind, shoots as soon as and makes an attempt to flee.
Ortiz retired as arguably the best designated hitter ever – and among the many hottest Crimson Sox gamers in historical past – after a 20-year profession that included 541 dwelling runs, 10 All-Star appearances, three World Collection titles and a World Collection MVP award. He’s prone to be voted to the Baseball Corridor of Fame when he hits the poll for the primary time in 2022.
“He’s a superhero with no cape,” mentioned Crimson Sox supervisor Alex Cora, Ortiz’s teammate in Boston for components of 4 seasons. “He’ll be again within the clubhouse with that large smile and that vast coronary heart.”