Former Twins DH David Ortiz shot in Dominican Republic

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25 Jun 2000: David Ortiz #27 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to the action during practice before the game against the Anaheim Angels at Edison Field in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Twins 7-6.Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck /Allsport
25 Jun 2000: David Ortiz #27 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to the action during practice before the game against the Anaheim Angels at Edison Field in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Twins 7-6.Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck /Allsport /
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David Ortiz, who played for the Minnesota Twins from 1996 to 2003, was shot in a chilling act captured on video on Sunday.

The Minnesota Twins enjoyed a big day against the Tigers on Sunday, But the baseball world grind to a halt later that night when news broke of a shooting in the Dominican Republic. The shooting involved one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, David Ortiz.

The initial details of Sunday night’s shooting were murky. The first reports were that Ortiz was shot while at an amusement park. As the evening wore on and word of the incident spread, disturbing details emerged of something much more calculated.

Surveillance video from the bar Ortiz was at shows Ortiz sitting at the end of the bar talking to someone. From the top of the picture, a grainy image emerges of a man walking up behind Ortiz and his companion. There is no warning, no way for anyone to react as the man outstretches his hand and Ortiz crumbles.

The shot went through Ortiz’s back and out his abdomen. Two other people were also shot and are expected to recover. Ortiz underwent surgery Sunday night and is expected to make a full recovery. One of the most chilling things to come out of the event was Ortiz’s plea to his doctors; “Please don’t let me die. I’m a good man.”

Known as “Big Papi”, Ortiz is known as one of the best, if not the best, designated hitters of all time. Ortiz is most recognized for his time with the Boston Red Sox. There, Ortiz helped break The Curse of the Bambino and led the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years. Before landing in Boston, Ortiz spent 6 seasons with the Twins.

Ortiz’s on field metrics speak for themselves. He finished his 20-year baseball career with 541 home runs (17th in MLB history), 1,768 RBIs (22nd all-time) and a .286 batting average. Among Designated Hitters, he is the all-time leader in MLB history for home runs (485), runs batted in (RBIs) (1,569), and hits (2,192). He also has 13 career walk off home runs, including two in the post season.

Ortiz is a 10-time All-Star, 3-time World Series Champion, MVP of the 2013 World Series, 2004 ALCS MVP and 7-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He is also a 2-time AL Hank Aaron award recipient, AL Home Run leader in 2006, 3-time AL RBI leader and received the Roberto Clemente award in 2011. The Red Sox have also retired his number 34 jersey and his numbers are Hall of Fame worthy by almost any measurement.

If Ortiz’s on field numbers aren’t impressive enough, consider his off the field contributions. In 2007, he started the David Ortiz Children’s Fund to help raise money to help children in the Dominican Republic and Boston as well as around the globe. His efforts have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and changed countless lives.

Major League Baseball has enjoyed a culture essentially free of this type of senseless violence. Unlike other sports, players do not spend the off season getting arrested for violence involving women or guns. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that David Ortiz knew his assailant or had in any way provoked this attack.

As of now, few details have emerged about the gunman’s motive or why he targeted Ortiz. In a world where violent attacks have become almost commonplace, baseball has been a place of healing. As baseball fans, we should be outraged by this, not only because David Ortiz is a great ambassador for the game and a great player, but most importantly, a great man.

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It’s also because these incidents will strip away that innocence that baseball affords us. Baseball is where we heal, not where we have fear. While Ortiz’s time with the Twins was brief and relatively uneventful, this incident is bigger than one team. It is bigger than baseball. I think I can speak for Puckett’s Pond collectively when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with the Ortiz family, the Dominican Republic and the Red Sox today. Get well soon, Papi.

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