Afro-Dominican baseball legend David Ortiz a.k.a. Big Papi was shot in his home country on Sunday. According to The Associated Press, the former Boston Red Sox slugger was shot from behind at point-blank range at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo. The gunman, who also injured two other people was subsequently apprehended and beaten by people at the bar.
The police are yet to investigate the motive behind the shooting and also question the gunman as they are currently waiting for him to recover from his injuries.
Currently recovering from a surgery to treat the wound, Ortiz’s father confirmed to reporters he’s in a stable condition.
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“He is out of surgery and stable. He is resting,” he told reporters, according to The Associated Press. “Big Papi will be around for a long time.”
The Boston Red Sox also released a statement on Sunday saying they had been “made aware” of the incident.
“David’s family has confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region. David is being treated at Clinica Abel Gonzalez in Santo Domingo where he is recovering from surgery,” the statement read.
“We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts.”
Born in Santo Domingo in 1975, Ortiz, who is widely known in his home country made his professional debut with the Mariners Dominican Summer League club in 1993, according to his bio on the MLB site.
In 1994, he made his professional debut for the Mariners’ Arizona Rookie League club at the age of 17. His exceptional performances for the team got him named team MVP as well as an Arizona Rookie League All-Star in 1995. In his final season with the Mariners in 1996, he was selected to play in the Midwest League All-Star game and was also named the league’s Most Exciting Player, Best Defensive First Baseman and No. 6 prospect.
Ortiz moved to the Minnesota Twins in 1997 making his MLB debut for them on September 2. He subsequently went ahead to hit his first MLB home run on September 14.
After spending 6 seasons with the Twins, Ortiz moved to the Boston Red Sox in 2003, playing 14 seasons for them. Ortiz won 3 World Series Championships with the Red Sox in 2004, 2007 and 2013 (he was named the World Series MVP that season). Ortiz, who hit a total of 541 home runs in his career also played in the American League All-Star game 10 times. In 2004, he was named the American League Championship Series MVP. After his retirement in 2016, the Boston Red Sox retired his uniform number the following year.
Outside of baseball, Ortiz is also known for his philanthropic endeavours particularly with his children’s fund which “provides support for children in the Dominican Republic and in New England who cannot afford the critical cardiac services they need.”