By Anneliese Goetz and Carlos Giron (Contributing Writers)
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted to induct 10-time All-Star David Ortiz into the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 25, causing upset fans to point out his history with performance enhancing drugs.
Ortiz received 307 votes, giving him 77.9% of the vote, which is above the required 75%, making him this year’s only ballot elected into Cooperstown. This year was the first year David Ortiz, or “Big Papi”, was eligible to be added to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His quick acceptance makes him the 58th player to be voted in, within their first year of eligibility.
While there were many who praised Ortiz’s induction, it was also met with criticism from many baseball fans via Twitter. The mixed reaction was caused by many asking why Ortiz was allowed into the baseball hall of fame, while others from his era were seen as disqualified due to their past use of steroids.
Players such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez are among those seemingly disqualified players. Though they offered nothing but their congratulations for Big Papi, baseball twitter was torn between excitement and disappointment.
“David Ortiz was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame tonight, & it’s hard to argue that move – he was as clutch as anybody who ever played the game. But it’s strange that he made it on the first ballot when Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens didn’t make it in 10 & are still writing raised fist” Twitter user @Bronxstar2 tweeted out on January 26th, 2022.
While Alex Rodrigues is still on the ballot, both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens did not get inducted in their 10 years of eligibility, which means they are no longer able to be considered for induction.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez were all huge players during the Steroid Era of baseball and were often thought of as the leading players at that time. Their drug use on top of their unlikeable personalities has made them disliked in the baseball community and is theorized to be why they were never voted in.
However, David Ortiz is often considered to be one of the most likable guys in baseball. It is said that you could never find a person who did not like Big Papi. Because of his league-wide likable personality, it is often forgotten that Ortiz also dabbled in steroid use. Many fans of these disqualified players are theorizing the real reason their favorites weren’t inducted was because of their attitude and less about their use of steroids in baseball. With Oriz being a good player and having a likable personality, he was able to join the hall even though he too was caught using performance enhancing drugs (PED).
“Barry Bonds: PED guy, literally better at every single aspect of baseball than Ortiz, not nice to reporters: outside looking in, what an absolute joke the HOF is. Straight trash organization.” writes Twitter user @aaronkessler.
Despite being an all-around nice guy, Ortiz was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame based on his impressive talent and resume. Big Papi played 20 seasons in the MLB, when the average career will only last about 2.7 years in the big leagues. In his 20 seasons, Big Papi hit 541 home runs putting him at 17th all-time . He was also named an All-Star 10 times while knocking in 1,768 runs, putting him 23rd overall in RBIs. Big Papi also won Three World Series with the Boston Red Sox and became the face of the franchise. Even after retiring from the game, Ortiz’s presence is still felt in the baseball community as he is an MLB studio analyst for FOX Sports, which is most recognizable during the World Series.
In Boston, Big Papi is often thought of as the one to end the Red Sox curse and help bring home their first World Series Championship in 86 years. But back home in the Dominican Republic, Ortiz is thought of as more popular than the Dominican Republic’s president. “It’s hardly a stretch to think of Ortiz as a Dominican Babe Ruth. Big Papi couldn’t go homer-for-homer with the Bambino. In fact, he ranks behind Sammy Sosa, Albert Pujols, and former Red Sox running mate Manny Ramirez on the all-time home run list among players born in the DR. But when it comes to an outsized personality and colorful flair, Ortiz is downright Ruthian, especially in his native country.” writes Scott Lauber for Espn.
Though there may be some controversy over those not voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, Ortiz’s 20-year long career speaks for itself, paving the way for his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.