One of the biggest hitters – and personalities – in Major League Baseball history was immortalized this weekend.

David Ortiz, also known as “Big Papi,” delivered a tearful and heart-wrenching speech in both Spanish and English, expressing his gratitude towards his supporters and not taking what he’s done for granted.

“I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to be here today and for giving me the joy of being able to travel this path, this path that has allowed me to be here today and hopefully inspire everyone to believe in yourself,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz has been one of the most exciting figures in baseball, taking fans’ hearts on and off the field. Starting his career with the Minnesota Twins, before spending thirteen seasons with the Boston Red Sox. He had a breakout season in 2004 earning his first All-Star nod, one of his eventual 10 in his career. He was a seven-time Silver Slugger and three-time World Series Champion, earning MVP honors in 2013.


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“I always tried to live my life in a way … so I can make a positive influence in the world,” said the 46-year-old. “And if my story can remind you of anything, let it remind you that when you believe in someone you can change the world, you can change their future, just like so many people believed in me.”

The crowd that filled the field adjacent to Clack Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York chanted “Papi! Papi!” as Dominican flags, and No. 34 jerseys were sprinkled everywhere in the crowd. Many fans made the four-hour drive from Fenway Park to see the Red Sox legend be inducted.

“It’s an honor to be on this stage,” Ortiz said. “I can ask for no more.”

Six other baseball legends were also enshrined on Sunday. This includes former Twins teammates Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva, late Minnie Miñoso, former Dodgers star and Mets manager Gil Hodges, and pioneers Buck O’Neil and Bud Fowler.

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