Highlights from Big Papi's passionate Hall of Fame induction speech originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
David Ortiz is already a legend in Boston. On Sunday, he entered baseball immortality.
The former Boston Red Sox slugger was officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, N.Y. He's the 12th player in history to be inducted as a member of the Red Sox, and one of the most beloved: Big Papi became an icon during his 14 seasons in Boston for his play on the field -- 10 All-Star nods, three World Series championships and countless clutch hits -- as well as his outsized, gregarious personality.
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That personality shone through Sunday, when Ortiz delivered a passionate speech thanking everyone who helped him throughout his baseball journey.
You can watch Ortiz's full 19-minute speech -- in which the Dominican Republic native weaved in and out of English and Spanish -- below:
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Among the highlights: Ortiz gave a shoutout to his first Red Sox manager, Grady Little, who set the tone on what he expected from Big Papi prior to his first season with the team in 2003.
"In my very first at-bat against the Twins in Spring Training, I tried to move a runner over," Ortiz said. "And I thought when I came back to the dugout everybody was going to high-five me, but everyone stayed seated. And (Little) pulled me aside and said, 'Big boy, I don’t want you to be here to move them over. I want you to bring them in.' The rest is history."
Ortiz also gave special thanks to several of his former Red Sox teammates (whom he dubbed "Los Chicos Locos") for making the trip to Cooperstown for his speech. Johnny Damon, Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Kevin Youkilis and fellow Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez were all in attendance.
Big Papi fondly recalled a great moment with Pedroia, as well:
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"Pee-wee (Ortiz's nickname for Pedroia) grabbed me by the neck one time, and told me, 'If you keep pulling the ball, I’m gonna whoop you.' And guess what? Big Papi got caught up on fire."
Ortiz also showed plenty of love for his native Dominican Republic, sharing "open invitation to visit my island" and touting the nation's "beautiful beaches where you guys can go when you’re freezing here."
It was a charismatic speech befitting of one of the game's greatest hitters and most colorful personalities.