Red Sox slugger and one of the best clutch hitters who ever lived, David Ortiz has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Big Papi” was the only player to clear the required 75% threshold, according to results of this year’s voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Ortiz finished with 77.9% – clearing the 75% vote threshold – to become the 58th player elected in his first year of eligibility.
“I learned not too long ago how difficult it is to get in on the first ballot,” Ortiz said. “Man, it’s a wonderful honor to be able to get in on my first rodeo. It’s something that is very special to me.”
Ortiz joins Wade Boggs, Pedro Martinez, Carl Yastrzemski, and Ted Williams as the only Red Sox players to gain entrance to the Hall on the first ballot.
Three other former stars, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling, failed to gain admission on their final time on the ballot.
Bonds and Clemens clearly have hall worthy numbers but were denied admission due to their link to performance enhancing drugs, even though neither player ever tested positive.
Ortiz was also linked to PED use after it was reported in 2009 that the Sox slugger was among 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in a round of testing conducted to determine is the problem was big enough to require regular testing. It is not clear if everyone who tested positive back in 2003 had used steroids or some other substance that may or may not have been legal or acquired over the counter.
Ortiz has long denied that he used banned substances. When asked about it on Tuesday, Ortiz said, “We had someone coming out with this one list, where you don’t know what anybody tested positive for. All of a sudden people are pointing fingers at me. But then we started being drug tested and I never tested positive. What does that tell you?”
Orttiz does however believe that Clemens and Bonds should be alongside him in Copperstown.
If it was up to Ortiz, Bonds and Clemens would be joining him on the stage in Cooperstown, New York, this summer.
“When I see these guys, to be honest with you, I don’t even compare myself with them,” Ortiz said. “I saw so many times, with them performing, and it was something that was very special. Now, not having them join me at this time is something that it’s hard for me to believe. Those guys, they did it all.”