David Ortiz being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday prompted Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, like so many others, to take a trip down memory lane.
And Werner couldn’t help but recall the role fellow Baseball Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez played in Ortiz joining the Red Sox nearly two decades ago.
“Well, first we have to thank Pedro because Pedro was the one who said, ‘I think that this guy’s got talent.’ And when we signed him, we didn’t know that he was going to be a great starting player, let alone a Hall of Famer. But it’s just once you saw his play, it was just great,” Werner told NESN’s Tom Caron of Martinez, as seen on NESN. “And, you know, off the field, I mean, we can never forget what he did to heal Boston after the Marathon Day massacre.”
Ortiz, who started his Boston tenure in 2003, is the first Red Sox player who played his entire career with Werner and company owning the club. Werner has served as the Red Sox chairman since 2002.
Big Papi was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, appearing on nearly 78% of ballots. As so many other teammates, opponents and media members have, Werner praised Ortiz as a well-deserving inductee.
“I think it’s fair to say he was the best clutch hitter not just for the Red Sox, but in baseball of the time I have been watching baseball games,” Werner said. “We were just driving over here and we were talking about that clutch hit he had against Detroit to change the playoff game. But it’s fair to say he’s one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game.”
For more information on how to watch the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, click here.