Former President Barack Obama took to Twitter on Monday to send his best wishes for a speedy recovery to former Boston Red Sox’s player David Ortiz, who was shot over the weekend in his native Dominican Republic.
His old teammates, die-hard supporters, sports fanatics and former rivals have taken to social media sending him words of encouragement and wishing him a speedy recovery.
On Monday, Barack Obama joined the string of well-wishes by remembering the vital role Ortiz played in lifting his adoptive city’s spirits back up after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
“Six years ago, David Ortiz’s spirit and resolve helped us all begin to heal from the Boston Marathon bombing,” Obama recalled. “Today, I want to join many others in wishing him a speedy recovery of his own. Get well soon, Papi.”
Back in 2013, after the bombings that killed three people and injured thousands, Ortiz famously gave a speech calling Boston “our f***ing city” and adding that “nobody is gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”
Ortiz and his teammates visited the White House in April 2014 as the 2013 World Series Champion, and the designated hitter managed to sneak in a selfie with Obama at the time, after gifting him a Boston jersey with his name on it.
“What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, @BarackObama,” Ortiz tweeted alongside the picture at the time.
According to reports, David Ortiz was out with some friends Sunday night at the Dial Bar and Lounge when a bullet impacted him on the lower back.
Felix Durán Mejia, a spokesman for the Dominican Republic National Police, revealed that the bullet went through Ortiz’s stomach. He was rushed to the Clinica Abel Gonzalez, where he underwent surgery to manage the bleeding on his liver and had portions of his intestines and gallbladder removed.
The Red Sox team sent a plane to pick up Ortiz on Monday, and he’s now being taken care of at Massachusetts General.
The National Police revealed they have one suspect in custody: Eddy Vladimir Féliz García.
According to witnesses, García and another suspect approached the Dial Bar and Lounge aboard a motorcycle before one of them opened fire and shoot Ortiz.
Then, as the panicked crowd scattered around, the pair tried to drive away, but the motorcycle fell to the pavement. One of the subjects managed to run away, but the crowd attacked García and then handed him to the police.
The motive for the shooting remains unknown, and the investigation is still ongoing.
Although Ortiz started his career with the Minnesota Twins in 1997, he’s better known for his 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox.
He led the team to their first championship since 1918 in 2004, ending the so-called "Curse of the Bambino,” the name fans gave the team’s victory drought after the infamous trading of Babe Ruth, aka the Bambino, to the New York Yankees in 1919.
Ortiz was also at the front of the team on their 2007 and 2013 victories. He retired in 2016.
On Monday, the Red Sox honored Ortiz at Fenway Park Monday before their game against the Texas Rangers. One of the scoreboards in the field read, "We send our love to David Ortiz,” as players and fans held a moment of prayer and reflection in Ortiz’s name.
"As befits his outsized personality, wishes for a speedy recovery have poured in from all over baseball, from the world of sports and even from respected world leaders. He is loved throughout our nation and beyond, yet to us, he is our own adopted son."
Get well soon, Ortiz.
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