Jason Mastrodonato, The Boston Herald
Beloved Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has been shot in the back and was transported to a local hospital in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday evening.
Ortiz’s father, Leo, later told local reporter Dionisio Soldevila that the bullet missed all major organs, his son is resting after surgery and they expect “total recovery.”
News first broke just before 10 p.m. ET on Sunday by Dominican TV station CDN 37 and CNN Espanol. Around 1:40 a.m. on Monday morning, the Red Sox confirmed that Ortiz received a wound in the lower back/abdominal region and is in recovery after surgery.
Surveillance video shared by CDN 37 appeared to show Ortiz sitting at a table on an outdoor patio when a bystander comes from off the screen, shoots Ortiz and scatters away.
Another report out of the Dominican indicated that Ortiz was shot “between the left side of the lower back and came out through the abdomen.”
“Please don’t let me die, I’m a good man,” Ortiz reportedly told the emergency room doctor.
Marly Rivera of ESPN reported that the Red Sox have offered a private plane to fly David Ortiz to the United States for any additional treatment, if necessary.
“We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts,” the team said in a statement.
Former MLB teammates and enemies alike voiced their support for Ortiz on social media.
“I’m at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can’t wait to hear your voice,” tweeted fellow Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez.” My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon.”
“Anxiously waiting for more news,” tweeted Alex Rodriguez, the former New York Yankee. “In the meantime, only prayers for @davidortiz, Tiffany and their family.”
Ortiz has been among Boston’s most vocal and beloved public figures since he began his career with the Red Sox in 2003. Released by the Minnesota Twins after the 2002 season, the Sox signed him as a 27-year-old free agent and watched him flourish into a perennial MVP candidate.
The designated hitter is known as “Big Papi” as he launched 541 career home runs, 483 of them in a Red Sox uniform, while hitting .286. As good as he was in the regular season, Ortiz achieved legendary status in the postseason when he came up with key hits against Hall of Fame Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the ALCS and led the Red Sox to a World Series in 2004, 86 years after their previous title.
In the Red Sox’ first game after the Marathon bombing in 2013, Ortiz famously grabbed the microphone at Fenway Park and said, “This is our (expletive) city.”
The Sox then went on a magical run for another title later that year.
Beloved by his teammates, Ortiz retired after the 2016 season, in which he hit .315 with 38 home runs. He cried on the field after his last game, soaking in the scene at Fenway Park long after the final pitch. And he cried on the field again when his No. 34 was retired by the Red Sox in 2017.
He’s been working for the Sox in a minor front office role since his retirement.
Ortiz is also known for his work driving money to his charity, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which provides money to poor children for critical heart surgeries in the United States and his native Dominican Republic.
©2019 the Boston Herald
Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.