Former AL MVP Dustin Pedroia was among the many Red Sox teammates to congratulate David Ortiz on his upcoming Baseball Hall of Fame induction, but did so in the most on-brand way possible.
Appearing on Ken Rosenthal's Hall of Fame Special live stream for the Athletic on Tuesday (January 25), Pedroia, who was Ortiz's teammate from 2006-2016, joked that Ortiz provided him with extra playing time at multiple positions.
"It was fun to play in the World Series with him because I got to play first and second (base)," Pedroia said, acknowledging that Ortiz typically served as a designated hitter, rather than at first base, showing the sarcasm he displayed during his playing career.
The two were teammates on two of the Red Sox's last three World Series teams, winning together in 2007 and 2013.
Ortiz also led Boston to a World Series victory in 2004, snapping its 86-year championship drought, prior to Pedroia's debut in 2006.
"Obviously you watch tons of film on every hitter and everything, and in my opinion, Barry Bonds was the greatest hitter ever. But in a pressure situation, I want David Ortiz up," Pedroia said, acknowledging Bonds, who was snubbed from election during his final year of eligibility on the writers' ballot.
"He comes through every single time. When you need a home run, David Ortiz hits it. I saw him do it in 2013, and Barry didn’t do that in the first part of his career in the playoffs. But from playoff Game 1 till the end, in a big moment, the game was in slow-motion for David Ortiz."
The Red Sox shared a video of Ortiz receiving his call from Baseball Writers' Association secretary and treasurer Jack O'Connell notifying the slugger of his upcoming induction.
An emotional Ortiz then yells out "yes" before hugging others in the room, which includes longtime former Red Sox teammate and 2015 inductee Pedro Martinez.
"Cooperstown is calling!" the Red Sox tweeted on their verified account Tuesday (January 25) after the Hall of Fame vote was officially announced.
Ortiz was the only player elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the 2022 class with 77.9% approval from the Baseball Writers' Association of America vote, surpassing the 75% needed for induction.
Ortiz, who was eligible for induction for the first time this year, played in the majors for 20 seasons, which included 14 in Boston.
The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native finished his MLB career with a .286 batting average, 541 home runs and 1,768 RBI.
Ortiz is the fourth Dominican native to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, joining Martinez, Juan Marichal (1983) and Vladimir Guerrero (2018) upon induction, which is scheduled to be held on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York on Sunday, July 24.
Bonds (66%) and Roger Clemens (65.2%) were second and third respectively in voting during their final year of eligibility on the writers' ballot.
Last year, zero players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time since 2013 and zero total inductees for the first time since 1960.
Ortiz and former MLB rival turned broadcast partner Alex Rodriguez headlined this year's list of first-time candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Both Rodriguez and Ortiz were among the 13 first-time candidates and 17 holdovers to be included on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.
Here are the full list of results from the 2022 BBWA Ballot per MLB TV:
- David Ortiz- 77.9
- Barry Bonds- 66.0
- Roger Clemens- 65.2
- Scott Rolen- 63.2
- Curt Schilling- 58.6
- Todd Helton- 52.0
- Billy Wagner- 51.0
- Andruw Jones- 41.4
- Gary Sheffield- 40.6
- Alex Rodriguez- 34.3
- Jeff Kent- 32.7
- Manny Ramirez- 28.9
- Omar Vizquel- 23.9
- Sammy Sosa- 18.5
- Andy Pettitte- 10.7
- Jimmy Rollins- 9.4
- Bobby Abreu- 8.6
- Mark Buehrle- 5.8
- Torii Hunter- 5.3
- Joe Nathan- 4.3