Ortiz’s Legacy Is Confirmed

Arguably the greatest designated hitter of all time has claimed a spot in Cooperstown — despite his similarly qualified peers being snubbed.

David Ortiz was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday — the only inductee in this year’s class — garnering 77.9% of the vote in his first year of eligibility. He’s the fifth first-ballot Hall of Famer in Red Sox history.

Though his stats don’t always stack up to those of HOF snub Barry Bonds — and like Bonds, he too was linked to PEDs, though less infamously — Ortiz made a major impact on the game.

  • He grades above the average Hall of Famer on three of Baseball Reference’s four Hall of Fame statistics. 
  • The Dominican slugger won the Edgar Martinez Award for the league’s best designated hitter a record eight times — three more than the award’s namesake.
  • Ortiz led MLB in home runs once and RBI three times, ranking 17th and 23rd all-time in each of those categories, respectively. 
  • Known for clutch performances, he hit 11 walk-off HR in the regular season and is one of only three players in MLB history to hit two in the postseason. 

His tremendous playing career was a lucrative one — his $160 million in earnings rank 40th all-time. 

Ortiz was also a leader for Boston, both on the field and off — perhaps best exemplified in 2013. 

His speech following the Boston Marathon bombings became a rallying cry on the Red Sox’s run to the World Series — where Ortiz batted a remarkable .688 (second-best ever) with two HR and six RBI for his only career World Series MVP.