“David Ortiz wasn’t better than Sammy Sosa. He didn’t hit 600 home runs. His games weren’t as popular as Pedro Martinez’s,” Perez says. “He didn’t have a complete career like [Albert] Pujols. But no other Dominican player has been as popular here as David Ortiz.”
Perez tells me how Ortiz was known for being a man of the people, someone who could go to the roughest neighborhoods without a worry, someone who did so without a trace of arrogance. Other players might go visit the barrio they grew up in, but Ortiz would go to all the barrios. He was constantly raising money and, through his foundation, regularly provided life-saving surgeries for needy children. In 2006, he raised $200,000 to start the first pediatric cardiovascular unit in the Dominican Republic. “No other baseball player or athlete has done more for Dominican children,” says Perez.
“David Ortiz left Mass General Hospital this past Friday as he continues his recuperation from the injuries he suffered from a shooting in Santo Domingo on June 9, 2019.
Along with his wife, Tiffany, and his children, David wishes to offer his thanks and gratitude to Dr. Jose Abel Gonzalez and the medical team at the Center for Advanced Medicine in Santo Domingo, Dr. Larry Ronan and Dr. David King as well as all the doctors, nurses, and caregivers at Mass General. David commented, ‘They are some of the best teammates I have ever had.’
David wanted to acknowledge the prayers and good wishes from the Dominican Republic and Red Sox Nation. He also mentioned his gratitude to the Red Sox ownership, stating ‘My deep appreciation goes to John and Linda Henry, Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and the entire Red Sox organization for providing the Red Sox plane that took me back to Boston from Santo Domingo and their continuing assistance to me and my family.’
David gave special thanks to Pam Kenn of the Red Sox ‘For the help and support she gave Tiffany in providing the media updates on my medical condition.’ And Tiffany Ortiz expressed her appreciation and gratitude to Phil Morse, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Red Sox, ‘For his special acts of kindness and concern during a difficult time for me and my family.’
David plans to spend the next several weeks focusing on his recovery. David said, ‘I am feeling good, but know I need to do my rehab just like I did when I was recovering from injuries playing baseball.’
While he is asking for privacy for the time being, David stated, ‘Big Papi will be back soon.’”
everyone's anxious for an update, but he also has a right to privacy while he recovers...
a day after they unceremoniously fired Dombrowski...
‘I would wake up . . . feeling like I’m going to die’
David Ortiz speaks after shooting
It was painless at first, the bullet that ripped through David Ortiz’s torso and lodged in his friend’s leg.
“I felt a burning sensation,’’ Ortiz told the Globe in his first public comments to an English language
publication since he was shot June 9 in his native Dominican Republic. “I felt weird, like not myself,
as I went down.’’
The former Red Sox great had been sipping Scotch with seven or eight friends at a familiar hangout,
the trendy Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo, and was chatting with a singer known as Secreto
when a gunman rushed his front row table at the bar’s outdoor patio and fired a single bullet from
close range into his back.
It was a moment, Ortiz said, that has forever changed his life.
In a wide-ranging interview at Fenway Park, Ortiz reflected on the crime and investigation, the
lifesaving Samaritan who rushed him to the hospital, his three surgeries and potentially deadly
infection, and how differently he views the world now.
“People need to understand, this isn’t a movie where you get shot in the street and you’re back two
minutes later,’’ Ortiz said. “No, I got shot and almost died. I only have one life to live. I can’t just
go to the pharmacy and buy another one.’’
As a grainy videotape of the shooting shows, Ortiz slumped to the bar’s wooden floor within seconds
of the gunshot. It was about 9:20 p.m., more than two hours after he had arrived there to meet
Jhoel Lopez, a Dominican television host, and a longtime friend, Sixto David Fernandez, who operates
a car paint shop.
At the sound of the shot, patrons scattered, including Ortiz’s companions — even the wounded Lopez.
Ortiz was left alone, writhing on the floor, critically injured.
“Then this angel comes out of nowhere,’’ he recalled.
The angel, a Dial Bar patron named Eliezer Salvador, helped Ortiz into the back seat of his Rolls-Royce
SUV. The vehicle was boxed in by other parked cars, so Salvador rammed his way out of the space,
sending Ortiz rocking back and forth in his seat.
They sped toward a public hospital, only to change course when Ortiz asked to be taken to a private
clinic he had frequented. He remained upright and conscious as Salvador, who once had been shot in
the stomach himself, weaved at a harrowing pace through traffic.
“He knew how to react,’’ Ortiz said. “He kept talking to me to make sure I stayed awake.’