The city of Boston was shaken to its core on Sunday night upon hearing the news that beloved Boston Red Sox slugger, David Ortiz, had been shot in the Dominican Republic. After the news broke, details began trickling in via various news sources which only provided a more muddled picture of the situation. However, over the last 12 hours, there have been more clarification pertaining to what exactly happened to Ortiz.
Here is what we know: David Ortiz was shot in the back by a lone gunman at Dial Bar in Santo Domingo Este in the Dominican Republic. The shooter was apprehended by local authorities shortly after the incident. Ortiz received immediate care at a nearby health clinic in Santo Domingo. Due to the severity of his injuries, Ortiz underwent emergency surgery at this medical facility.
Marly Rivera of ESPN later reported the extent of Ortiz’s injuries and provided more details about the surgery he had.
The latest update that Rivera was able to provide is that the Red Sox have sent their team plane down to the Dominican Republic to transport Ortiz back to Boston. Once medically cleared to fly, Ortiz will be flown to Boston and will immediately be transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital for further care.
While Ortiz’s condition is being described as “stable” it is important to note that he still is in need of further and more sophisticated care, and he also likely lost a lot of blood over the last 12 hours. The doctors who have been taking care of Ortiz expect him to fully recover, but there is still much more that needs to be done before anyone can be sure of anything.
David Ortiz is the most important athlete in the city of Boston. Tom Brady is considered the greatest, and he has a legacy that will likely never be topped, but even the greatest quarterback of all time cannot compare to what Big Papi means to the city of Boston.
It is more than just Ortiz’s phenomenal accomplishments on the field that make him who he is, but it is everything he does off the field as well. Ortiz is well known for his generosity and his kindness towards all who meet him. He does tremendous work with his David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which provides essential support for children in the Dominican Republic and in New England who cannot afford the critical cardiac services they need.
Ortiz’s most iconic moment came in 2013 after the Boston Marathon bombings, a tragic event that brought the city of Boston to its knees in utter shock, disbelief, and sadness. However, it was in that moment of darkness that Big Papi seized a microphone and stood in the middle of Fenway Park and delivered a speech that will live in the annals of Boston history forever.
“All right, Boston,” Big Papi said, clapping his hands. “This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say ‘Red Sox.’ It says ‘Boston.’ We want to thank you, Mayor [Thomas] Menino, Governor [Deval] Patrick, the whole police department for the great job that they did this past week.”
“This is our f——- city. And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”
Big Papi was the catalyst that fueled the city of Boston in its recovery from that senseless tragedy. It is often said that sport is the great unifier, it is the one thing that can consistently bring people together, and David Ortiz unified his larger-than-life personality and heart with the city of Boston that day. He didn’t stop there either, as Ortiz helped lead the 2013 Red Sox to a World Series Championship. Ortiz himself earned the honor of being named the 2013 World Series MVP, batting a ridiculous .688 with a pair of home runs and seven runs scored in six games to help defeat the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Mt. Rushmore of Boston sports legends, according to many Bostonians, would be Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, Tom Brady, and David Ortiz. All four of those athletes are legends, hall-of-famers, and all-time greats. David Ortiz is more than just one of Boston’s greatest athletes. The man they call Big Papi is the most beloved human being, athlete or otherwise, in Boston. He is truly the heart and soul of that city.
Many athletes from all across Major League Baseball, as well as other major sports, have already sent their thoughts and prayers to Ortiz and his family. the outpouring of support and emotion just goes to show how much David Ortiz means to everyone, from Boston to the Dominican Republic and beyond.