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David Ortiz and Buck O’Neil Headline Hall of Fame Class of 2022

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Rivera was a guest at Ortiz’s party here on Saturday night, as was one other former Yankee rival, his Fox Sports colleague Alex Rodriguez. Several of Ortiz’s former teammates also got here to town, including Johnny Damon, LaTroy Hawkins, Mike Lowell, Trot Nixon, Dustin Pedroia, Tim Wakefield, Kevin Youkilis and Pedro Martinez, a fellow Hall of Famer from the Dominican Republic.

Many fans waved Dominican flags for Ortiz, who pitched for his homeland in his speech — “We now have lots of good and blissful people, beautiful beaches where you guys can go when you’re freezing here,” he said. Ortiz’s daughter, Alex, sang the USA’ national anthem before the ceremony, and Ortiz spoke in his speech about his mother, Angela Rosa, who died in 2002.

“Going through this speech and putting it together, I cried so much, to be honest with you, even this morning, each time I touched base about my mom,” Ortiz said. “It just got to the purpose, repeating again and again and over, it form of cured it a little bit.”

For Ortiz, the consideration was exquisitely timed. He was shot within the back within the Dominican Republic in 2019, and it’s chilling to think about how close he got here to missing his own ceremony. As an alternative, he’s healthy and robust — the complete Big Papi on the most important day of all.

“Thank God I’m good to go, I don’t have any injuries, I’m back to normal,” Ortiz said later. “I at all times appreciate that and thank God for every little thing.”

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