Ortiz joins 2022 HOF class as Bonds, Clemens fall off ballot
Legendary slugger David Ortiz will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer as the sole member of the 2022 class selected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, the institution announced Tuesday.
"I am truly honored and blessed by my induction into the Hall of Fame - the highest honor that any baseball player can reach in their lifetime," Ortiz said in a statement obtained by Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. "I am grateful to the baseball writers who considered my career in its totality, not just on the statistics, but also on my contributions to the Red Sox, the city of Boston, and all of Red Sox nation."
The 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion earned 77.9% of the vote on his first year on the ballot. He will join Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Buck O'Neil, and Tony Oliva as members of the 2022 class after they were selected via committees earlier this winter. Fowler, Hodges, Minoso, and O'Neil will be inducted posthumously.
A prolific hitter, Ortiz managed to collect 541 homers and 1,768 RBIs over a 20-year career that began with the Minnesota Twins and ended with a storied 14-season stint with the Boston Red Sox. Predominantly a designated hitter, Ortiz was a seven-time Silver Slugger who earned ALCS MVP honors during the curse-busting 2004 run and a World Series MVP nod in 2013. He added another 17 homers and 61 RBIs during nine different postseason stretches.
Meanwhile, for the 10th consecutive year, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens failed to reach the 75% threshold necessary for enshrinement and will be removed from the ballot. Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa will also fall off the ballot after coming up short.
"Not having (Bonds and Clemens) join me is hard for me to believe, to be honest with you," Ortiz said, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. "These guys, I did not even compare myself with them."
Multiple members of the Red Sox front office also extended their congratulations to Ortiz.
"There are countless reasons why David is deserving of this honor, beginning with three World Series trophies that we would not have without his heroics on the field and his leadership," Red Sox principal owner John Henry said in a statement, according to Chris Cotillo of Masslive.
"He was critical in transforming the narrative around the Red Sox from one of curses and superstitions to tales of clutch moments and a collection of championships. David's most meaningful and profound contributions, however, are not fully reflected in trophies and awards, but rather on the faces of every player held in David's bear-hug embrace over the years, by our memories of stirring dugout rally speeches, and with his fist raised in solidarity with our community during its darkest hour."
Henry continued: "For the past two decades, David has meant the world to us, and we are proud that Cooperstown will be another stop on his supremely impactful journey."
"It has been a privilege to watch David's storybook career in Boston for 14 years and three World Series Championships," Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said. "This honor only confirms what many of us at the Red Sox and throughout New England already knew: that he is not only one of our greatest players, but one of baseball's greatest players.
Team president and CEO Sam Kennedy also added that "David Ortiz is the most important player to ever wear a Red Sox uniform."
Eleven players - including Joe Nathan, Tim Hudson, and Tim Lincecum - will also fall off the ballot after failing to earn the requisite 5% of support. Ten of those players were in their first year of eligibility, while Hudson was the lone player to get kicked off in his second year.