Two months after being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, David Ortiz is trying to enjoy every moment of his life after being shot in the Dominican Republic three years ago.
“Without a doubt,” he told The Associated Press during his charity golf tournament on Monday.
“Life goes on. You don’t know what will happen next, ”she added as she toured the course in a golf cart and then took photos with the participating players. “You have to concentrate on doing things right and looking out for the people who accompany you.”
In June 2019, Ortiz was injured when a man got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back from close range. Doctors in the Dominican Republic removed his gallbladder and part of his intestines after he was shot, and he had to undergo other surgeries in the United States.
The Red Sox slugger was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first opportunity in the voting of the Association of Baseball Writers of America. He managed to capture 77.9% of the vote — just above the required minimum of 75%.
He assures that the election has changed his life.
“Well, he was already a busy guy. Right now, I’m super busy,” he joked as he autographed some four dozen baseballs, a few golf bags and a few stress balls.
Sporting a Hall of Fame hat with the logo on the front and Cooperstown on the back, Ortiz estimated that he has signed some 3 million baseballs in his career. He pointed out that the affection that fans have for him is something that will never be taken lightly.
“I never get bored,” he said when interviewed by AP. “It’s something that’s fabulous — receiving love and giving it back.”
“I don’t sign like I used to,” he joked.
On Monday, “Big Papi” recalled the excitement he felt nearly seven years ago when his longtime friend and teammate Pedro Martinez was inducted into the Hall of Fame. On that day, Ortiz hit two home runs and drove in seven runs in a Red Sox win.
“Yes sir,” he whispered as he spoke.
From now on, perhaps he will have the same impact on the new generation of Dominican ballplayers, when he delivers his speech on July 24.
“Of course,” he said. “I have a lot of appreciation and respect for it. They appreciate you equally. They are always in contact with me and I try to give them guidance. That’s important in everyone’s career.”
On Monday morning, he took the microphone to harangue those present at the event.
“What happened to the energy?” he shouted to golfers, including Hall of Famer Jim Rice, retired player Adam Jones and Tuukka Rask, a former NHL goalkeeper for the Boston Bruins. “Go! That not every day they are with a Hall of Fame.
At 46, Ortiz is the fourth player born in the Dominican Republic to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Juan Marichal, Martínez and Vladimir Guerrero.
Ortiz’s tournament — the Boston Heart Classic — raises money for children in need of life-saving medical treatment.