11 Best Quotes From David Ortiz’s Hall Of Fame Induction Speech

'I love you, Boston'

by

July 24

Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday — and in typical Big Papi fashion, he turned the ceremony into a party.

Ortiz was the final honoree, headlining a class that included first baseman and manager Gil Hodges, pitcher Jim Kaat, third baseman Minnie Miñoso, outfielder Tony Oliva, player/manager/team organizer Bud Fowler and Negro League baseball legend Buck O’Neil.

Speeches had been going on for almost three hours by the time Big Papi took to the microphone, but he had no problem drawing a reaction from a large audience in Cooperstown.

Here are some of the best quotes from his headlining speech:

1. Taking in the moment.
“This is such an incredible day. It’s an incredible honor. I’m so humbled to be on this stage right now.”

2. The baseball writers got it going on.
“I want to thank the baseball writers for making me the first designated hitter in the history of baseball to be inducted on the first ballot. You guys got it going on! Thanks, guys.”

3. Credit to his kids.
“You guys know that without you, this would have never happened. You guys were the engine that got me started every morning, every day for me to get up and keep going. I love you guys from the bottom of my heart.”

4. Sales pitch for the Dominican Republic.
Ortiz thanked the United States for giving him an opportunity to live out his dream and made sure to tell its citizens where they should vacation in the winters, saying, “To all my American friends, consider this an open invitation to visit my island, the Dominican Republic. It’s a special place where we have a lot of good and happy people, and beautiful beaches where you guys can go when you’re freezing here.”

5. Thanking former Twins teammate Kirby Puckett.
“Mr. Kirby Puckett. He taught me so much about the game. He gave me so much advice and was so wonderful to me that when I went to Boston, I decided to wear his number — No. 34. God bless you, Kirby.”

6. Thanking the Red Sox.
“To John Henry, Linda Henry, to Tom Werner, to Larry Lucchino, Phil Morris — who was there when I came to Boston and of course, my main man Sam Kennedy. I can’t thank you guys enough for building me up and supporting me throughout the years… That organization made me the man I am today. They educated me about the game, but they also educated me about life.”

7. Grady Little’s advice.
“When I first came to Boston, I had a manager named Grady Little… and in my very first at-bat against the Twins in Spring Training, I tried to move a runner over. And I thought when I came back to the dugout everybody was going to high five me, but everyone stayed seated. And the manager 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.”

8. Thanking Francona and Farrell
“I was lucky enough to play for two guys named Terry Francona — who at the time brought in a guy named John Farrell — who took over as manager. These guys did nothing but build my confidence, even in tough times. I love you guys, and always know that I’ll have you in my heart.”

9. Shouting out former teammates.
“I’ve got teammates here, Los Chicos Locos. Johnny Damon, Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Kevin Youkilis and of course No. 45 (Pedro Martinez). I want you guys to know that even with the God-given talent I have, I wouldn’t have made it without the support and love coming from all of you. All I was trying to do was bring this team together.”

10. Dustin Pedroia’s (threatening) advice.
“Pee-wee (Pedroia) grabbed me by the neck one time, and told me, ‘If you keep pulling the ball I’m gonna whoop you.’ And guess what? Big Papi got caught up on fire.”

11. Love for his second home — Boston.
“It’s been almost twenty years since my first day in Boston. We have some incredible moments. When I think about Boston, I definitely think about 2004, 2007 and of course 2013. After the city was shaken from the marathon bombing, I’ve never seen a community bounce back and reunite like Boston… I will always be from Boston, and I will always be there for you Boston. I love you, Boston.”

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Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
Former Boston Red Sox players David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia
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