Consider this a warm-up for David Ortiz. The lone Major League Baseball player inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame this year had another Hall of Fame ceremony Thursday at Fenway Park.
Ortiz, along with Manny Ramirez, Rich Gedman, and the late Bill Dinneen, was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame as players. Former general manager Dan Duquette was also inducted. Ortiz is scheduled to enter the MLB Hall in July.
Ortiz and Gedman attended Thursday’s event. Ramirez did not. During the event, the man known as “Big Papi” found out via former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez that he was only worth 40 bucks.
David Ortiz got new life with the Boston Red Sox
In Ortiz’s sixth and final season with the Minnesota Twins, he smacked 20 home runs and drove in 75 runs while hitting .272. That was enough to scare the small-market franchise. Rather than commit to the slugger with a long-term deal, the Twins released him.
With some heavy recruiting by Martinez, the Sox inked Ortiz prior to the 2003 season. He didn’t disappoint.
In his first year in Boston, Ortiz hit 31 homers and collected 101 RBIs. He finished fifth in the MVP voting. The following season, Ortiz racked up 41 homers and 139 RBIs and hit .301, making the first of his 10 All-Star appearances. He also helped the Red Sox to their first World Series title since 1918.
Ortiz became a Red Sox icon and a fan favorite in Boston. He led the Sox to three World Series titles. Ortiz teamed with Ramirez to former a deadly one-two power-hitting punch. The two combined for 757 home runs in Boston. Both players were on this year’s MLB Hall of Fame ballot that also included Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens. Only Ortiz made it.
The steroid era is a tough one, and Ramirez, Bonds, Rodriguez, and Clemens were all linked to performing-enhancing drugs. Ortiz said he’s pained that Ramirez couldn’t join him in Cooperstown.
“Not seeing him in the Hall of Fame right now is something that really hurts me,” Ortiz said, according to Mass Live. “It hurts him because he knows that he made mistakes that he shouldn’t.”
Ortiz finds out he’s only worth $40 at Sox Hall ceremony
During Thursday’s Red Sox ceremony at Fenway, Tom Caron, a sportscaster for NESN, interviewed several players, including Gedman and Martinez. When he spoke with Martinez, the topic came up about how the Hall of Fame pitcher is responsible for recruiting Ortiz and getting him to Boston.
Caron jokingly asked if he ever got paid for getting Big Papi here.
“Boy, I’m so glad I was in that restaurant when David was released by the Minnesota Twins,” Martinez told Caron. “I’m so happy.”
“Did you ever get an agent fee?” Caron asked. “The Red Sox owe you an agent fee for getting them to sign David Ortiz.”
“Yeah, I don’t know why the Red Sox haven’t paid me for my services to scout,” Martinez said. “I scouted David. Nobody has paid me anything, but I got a big ring.”
Then Red Sox president Sam Kennedy rushed over to Martinez and handed him some cash.
“Man, 40 bucks,” Martinez said as he turned to the crowd. “Now I know why the scouting department was always complaining, Dan Duquette. Forty bucks for a guy like David? What were you doing, man?
“Dan Duquette, man. I’m going to have a strike tomorrow from the scouting department over here. You guys better get ready. Sam, you better raise our salaries. I’m keeping my 40 bucks, too.”
Ortiz certainly proved his worth for the Red Sox, even if it was only 40 bucks.