The 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame class will be a robust one, with seven new inductees. Two different Era Committees elected six new members back in December. The BBWAA vote results were revealed on Tuesday night and one more man was added: Red Sox legend David Ortiz.
Oritz was the only one of the 30 former players on the 2022 ballot to get the required 75 percent of the vote. He checked in with 77.9 percent (307 votes), just enough to join the exclusive Hall of Fame. Now that he's in, however, the percentage doesn't really matter. He's a Hall of Famer just the same as Mariano Rivera.
Ortiz's Hall of Fame path truly started to grow in 2004 against Rivera's Yankees, when the Red Sox became the first time to ever overcome a 0-3 deficit and win a postseason series. Ortiz had a 12th-inning walk off homer in Game 4 and then a 14th-inning walk off single in Game 5. The legend of Big Papi was born.
The Red Sox would go on to win their first World Series since 1918. During that regular-season, Ortiz was good enough to make his first of 10 All-Star Games and would place in the top five of MVP voting for the second time in a run of five straight such finishes.
Prior to the previous season, the Twins released Ortiz and he sat around in free agency for over a month before eventually landing a cheap deal with the Red Sox that he had to pursue. He didn't even get regular playing time for a while, ending up with 128 games played and 509 plate appearances that season. Still, he hit 31 homers and drove home 101 runs. In the aforementioned 2004 season, he established himself as a superstar, clubbing 41 homers with 139 RBI.
In all, Ortiz hit .286/.380/.552 (141 OPS+) with 2,472 hits, 632 doubles, 541 homers, 1,768 RBI, 1,419 runs and 1,319 walks. He ranks 26th all-time in slugging percentage, 38th in OPS, 91st in runs, 32nd in total bases, 12th in doubles, 17th in home runs, 23rd in RBI, 41st in walks, 64th in times on base and eighth in extra-base hits. The only players with more career extra-base hits are Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.
The man we came to know as Big Papi was stellar in his 85 career playoff games, too, hitting .289/.404/.543 with 22 doubles, two triples, 17 homers, 61 RBI and 51 runs.
Something notable that likely held him back with a handful of voters: Ortiz is now the Hall of Famer with the lowest percentage of games played spent fielding a position. He served as designated hitter in 2,028 games while playing first base 278 times. Edgar Martinez had 1,403 games at DH and 592 in the field. Frank Thomas had 971 games at first and 1,310 at DH.
Ortiz will obviously be wearing a Red Sox hat on his Hall of Fame plaque. The last player inducted into the Hall of Fame wearing a Red Sox cap was Pedro Martinez in 2015. Martinez in December of 2002 famously pushed for the Red Sox to sign Ortiz after learning -- from Ortiz himself in a restaurant in the Dominican Republic -- the Twins had released him (via Martinez himself in a Players Tribune article). Martinez said he knew Ortiz was going to be special. Now they are both Hall of Famers.