The baseball community got some tragic news late yesterday evening when reports out of the Dominican Republic claimed former MLB All-Star and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz had been shot in the leg at a club. (Additional information said that Ortiz was shot in a robbery attempt, but later information debunked that claim.)
Within minutes, several developments emerged, such as reports that Ortiz was one of three people wounded at the club. ESPN’s Enrique Rojas spoke to David’s father, who said, “They [medical officials] called me to tell me that David is injured and that they took him to a medical center, but they did not tell me how he is or exactly where he was transferred.”
A later report from ESPN’s Marly Rivera said Ortiz was shot in the lower back and the bullet went through his stomach, and he was rushed to an emergency surgery.
I just spoke to @dSoldevila who is at the clinic where David Ortiz is currently being treated. Dionisio said me that the attending doctor told him that David was shot in the lower back and the bullet went through and through; he’s currently in surgery.— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) June 10, 2019
Early this morning, Periódico Hoy’s Dionisio Soldevilla spoke to Ortiz’s brother who said that David is out of surgery and is fine.
Dice hermano de David Ortiz que ya salio de cirugia y que esta bien.— Dionisio Soldevila (@dSoldevila) June 10, 2019
The Red Sox were made aware of the incident and made a statement early this morning. “Late last night we were made aware of an incident involving David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. David’s family has confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region. David is being treated at Clinica Abel Gonzalez in Santo Domingo where he is recovering after surgery. We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts.”
Rivera reports that the “available resources” includes a private plane that the team has offered to Ortiz to fly him to the United States for any additional treatment.
Ortiz’s assistant and press representative, Leo López, reports that Ortiz’s surgery ended at 3:30 a.m. and he’ll remain in intensive care until early Tuesday morning 24 hours. López added that doctors had to remove Ortiz’s gallbladder, and part of his intestine and colon were excised. Part of his liver was damaged by the bullet, too, and surgeons had to control bleeding from his liver and bowel.
Authorities reportedly arrested the 25-year-old man who shot Ortiz. Videos that we won’t share in this article show the man being beaten and abused by a large crowd as they wait for authorities to arrive and arrest him. Reports confirm the shooter was indeed arrested at the scene.
Graphic camera footage shows that Ortiz was indeed shot in the midsection at what appears to be a club or restaurant. The video, while graphic, is important for showing what happened. In addition to confirming the location of the wound, the footage also goes against the report that Ortiz was shot in a robbery; the video shows that Ortiz was sitting peacefully when the gunman snuck up and opened fire from behind.
WARNING: VIDEO IS GRAPHIC
Not only was Ortiz a terrific baseball player who reached several impressive milestones during his fabulous career, but he was also said to be a great teammate, a kind, caring, and happy person, and someone who loved and respected his fans and city.
A countless number of baseball fans, executives, players, and former teammates took to social media to show their support of the baseball legend.
Here are some of the most notable tweets:
A guy who takes care of people all over the world and has made an impact on so many. Was there for me with my brother and he will be back being Big Papi! Thoughts and Prayers from my family to you and yours! #PAPI— Blake Aubry Swihart (@BLAKESWIHART_1) June 10, 2019
Pull through @davidortiz, pull through Big Papi ❤️❤️❤️— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 10, 2019
David Ortiz is a one-of-a-kind baseball legend.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 10, 2019
Wishing Big Papi a full and speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/cNHjpp9y2U
Big Prayers for a speedy recovery to mi Gente @davidortiz. Been a tough last 12 hours for a lot of us in the baseball world and to all the people Big Papi has impacted. Stay Strong Ortiz… https://t.co/SVnFsyrOAc— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) June 10, 2019
Thoughts and prayers to David Ortiz and his family. A man that defines the city of Boston. Get better Big Papi.— Tedy Bruschi (@TedyBruschi) June 10, 2019
This is bigger than baseball. This is bigger than a small rivalry or a close game. The baseball and sports community unite as one in support of one of the most influential and impactful players of the 21st century.
MLB Daily Dish sends our best wishes to Ortiz and everyone affected by last night’s tragedy.