David Ortiz played under Grady Little for merely one season with the Red Sox, but it seems the former Boston manager offered lasting advice.
Ortiz, while giving his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech Sunday afternoon in Cooperstown, expressed how one message he received from Little in 2003 set the stage for the rest of his career.
“When I first came to Boston, I had a manager named Grady Little, who was the manager at the time,” Ortiz said, as shared by MLB. “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, ‘Hey, 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,” Ortiz said.
From that point forward, Ortiz would go on to compile 1,530 RBIs during his 14 seasons with the Red Sox. He finished his 20-year career with 1,768 RBIs including 541 home runs.
Ortiz shared many other stories involving his time with the Red Sox, which started during that 2003 season. The legendary designated hitter, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first year on the ballot, also spoke a lesson he learned from former teammate Dustin Pedroia, while offering his thanks to the organization and City of Boston.
Ortiz received nearly 78% of the vote in his first attempt making him the first-ever designated hitter to be inducted in his first year on the ballot.