There were several former Red Sox players on the ballot for selection into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2022, but only one of them made the cut.
Longtime Boston slugger David Ortiz — who in his first year on the ballot was the only player elected Tuesday — lamented the fact that former teammate Manny Ramirez missed the cut.
Ramirez received 28.9% of the vote, with 75% needed to be selected for induction. And while Ramirez may be a strong candidate on paper, much of the debate surrounding his selection into the Hall comes down to the two suspensions he served later in his career for violations of the league’s drug policy.
Both suspensions came after Ramirez played for the Red Sox.
“He’s a guy that I admire so much,” Ortiz said, speaking to reporters via Zoom following his selection to the Hall of Fame. “Not many people know who he is. When I played with Manny, he was a hard-working guy who had his personality, it’s not a secret. He admit(s) that he did so many things the wrong way for being immature and not being able to listen, even to my advice.”
Ortiz shared memories of watching Ramirez during batting practice when he arrived on the Red Sox and admired his talent, noting he “had no issues trying to teach” Ortiz when it came to bettering his approach at the plate.
“Not seeing him in the Hall of Fame right now is something that really hurt me,” Ortiz said. “It hurts him because he knows that he made a mistake that he shouldn’t have.”
While Ortiz may harbor a soft spot for his longtime friend, not all of his former teammates feel the same way. Dustin Pedroia, speaking to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal prior to the Hall of Fame announcement, admitted he does not feel Ramirez should be selected to the Hall based on the controversy.