COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK - JULY 24: Inductee David Ortiz speaks during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center at the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 24, 2022 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, David Ortiz was officially made a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.


Red Sox fans know that Big Papi’s journey to Cooperstown really started with his arrival in Boston in 2003. Until that point, Ortiz was a talented hitter that never realized his full potential. And that’s not a knock against his talent. That’s a knock against the organizations that he started his baseball career with.


David Ortiz: The Early Years

Ortiz was signed by the Seattle Mariners in November of 1992 at just 17 years old. His batting prowess was evident early on as he rose through Seattle’s farm system, but he never received that all-important call-up to the big league club. In September of 1996, the young slugger was traded from the Mariners to the Minnesota Twins.


Ortiz rose quickly through Minnesota’s farm system and made his MLB debut with the Twins as a September call-up in 1997. He would play parts of six seasons with the Twins, who struggled to entrench himself as their everyday DH despite impressive offensive numbers. As a cost-cutting move, the Twins released Ortiz after the 2002 season. This would prove to be the best thing to ever happen to the hitter and was the beginning of his journey to the Hall of Fame.


David Ortiz: Hall of Famer

You know the story: Ortiz meets Pedro Martinez by chance at a restaurant in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz tells Martinez he’s been released. Martinez calls Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein and urges him to sign Ortiz. Epstein signs Ortiz. In less than two years, the Red Sox have won their first World Series in 86 years, and David “Big Papi” Oritz is a big part of the reason why. Sixteen seasons in Boston later, he retires with some of the most impressive offensive stats ever recorded by a Red Sox slugger. And now, his plaque is in Cooperstown. As it should be.

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