Everybody take a second and do the double-point-up-to-the-sky for David “Big Papi” Ortiz. According to ESPN, the Boston Red Sox legend and one-time saratoga living cover star is in intensive care but stable, following an incident Sunday night at a club in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he was shot at nearly point-blank range in the lower back by a 25-year-old assailant who’s now in custody (following the shooting, the gunman was captured and beaten by a nearby crowd; he, too, was briefly hospitalized, then handed over to police). A surveillance video of the attack has since been released.
Following the shooting, the 43-year-old Ortiz was rushed to the Abel Gonzalez clinic where he underwent an emergency, six-hour surgery, with portions of his intestines and colon removed, along with his gall bladder. Ortiz also sustained liver damage. According to multiple reports, upon reaching the clinic, Ortiz told his doctors, “Please don’t let me die. I’m a good man.”
Ortiz’s father, Leo, told ESPN that what he was told “post-op is that the doctors believe he will recover quickly.”
Two other people, who were with Ortiz at the time, were injured during the shooting, including Jhoel Lopez, a TV host from the Dominican Republic, and a third, unidentified person.
At press time, it’s still unclear what the motives were behind the attack.
Since the attack, the Major League Baseball community has shown an outpouring of support for Ortiz, including an official statement from his former team. Well-wishers have flooded onto Twitter to leave messages for Ortiz, including former Red Sox ace and teammate Pedro Martinez, now a TV analyst; former Red Sox teammate Mike Lowell; recent Hall of Fame inductee and fellow DR native Vladimir Guerrero; and many more.
I’m at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can’t wait to hear your voice. My thoughts and prayers are with you, see you soon.
Me siento tranquilo de saber que estás fuera de peligro, usted es fuerte Compai, ya quiero oírle la voz. Orando, nos vemos pronto pic.twitter.com/jdSnNsM7eI
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) June 10, 2019
Great to hear @davidortiz is stable and will make a full recovery. My heart sank when I heard the news. Prayers to him, Tiffany and the kids.
— Mike Lowell (@mikelowell25) June 10, 2019
— Vladimir Guerrero (@VladGuerrero27) June 10, 2019
As a member of the Red Sox, Ortiz was an integral part of the 2004 team that “reversed the curse,” bringing Boston its first World Series win in 86 years. He also won championships with the team in 2007 and 2013, along with World Series MVP the latter year.
Over the past few years, Ortiz has had a major presence in Saratoga Springs, making appearances at the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival. Last year, a contingent from saratoga living magazine was welcomed into Ortiz’s Boston area home to do a cover photo shoot with him for our Saratoga After Dark Issue and conduct an interview for our cover feature.