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Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Legendary Boston Red Sox slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz was formally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, New York. Ortiz is the 12th player in Red Sox history to be inducted. During his 14 seasons in Boston, he became a legend for his on-field excellence, which included 10 All-Star selections, three World Series victories, and countless clutch hits.

In 20 major league seasons, the Hall of Famer blasted 541 home runs and led the Red Sox to capture three World Series victories. Baseball Writers' Association of America honored him as the 58th player in his first year of eligibility. He also served as a designated hitter more than any other player inducted before him.

Ortiz's speech

The Dominican Republic native opened his nearly 20-minute speech by praising God for giving him the opportunity and strength to keep his feet on the ground.

In his speech, he thanked everyone who supported him throughout his baseball career. As one of the highlights, Ortiz thanked his first Red Sox manager, Grady Little, for setting the tone for him ahead of his debut season.

"In my very first at-bat against the Twins in Spring Training, I tried to move a runner over," said Ortiz, who survived a nightclub shooting three years ago.

"And I thought when I came back to the dugout everybody was going to high-five me, but everyone stayed seated. And (Little) pulled me aside and said, 'Big boy, I don’t want you to be here to move them over. I want you to bring them in.' The rest is history."

Furthermore, Ortiz expressed gratitude to Major League Baseball and all of the Hall of Famers present, saying, "It's an amazing honor to be a part of this elite group."

As he continued his speech, Ortiz thanked his family in English and Spanish.

"Without you guys, this would never happen. You guys were the engine that started this motor every day for me to get it going and keep on going," he said. "I love you guys from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for being there for me always."

Ortiz also expressed gratitude to the United States, noting that the country embraced him with welcoming hands since he was a kid and provided him with the opportunities to grow and pursue all of his dreams. The Red Sox icon thanked the Minnesota Twins for bringing him up to the big leagues, saying they taught him a valuable lesson.

He went on to thank his fellow Hall of Fame Class of 2022 inductees, Twins organization members, and MLB star Kirby Puckett, whom Ortiz claimed was the reason he picked uniform No. 34 when he signed with Boston.

Ortiz concluded his speech by emphasizing the value of trusting in people.

"I always try to live my life in a way that support other, that make a positive influence in the world, and if my story can remind you of anything, let it remind you that when you believe in someone, you can change their world, you can change their future, just like so many people who believed in me," Ortiz said.

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