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Fans of David Ortiz Celebrated The Baseball Legends Return To Fenway Park

From the moment that David Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic in early June, his extended family, the Boston Red Sox, have been by his side to provide Big Papi and those close to him with “all available resources” that they may need.

After Ortiz had undergone surgery to have his gallbladder and parts of his intestines removed, the Red Sox sent a medical flight to the Dominican Republic to have him transferred to Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital for further treatment. Big Papi was released in late July following a third surgery. 

David Ortiz surprised his fans at Boston’s Fenway Park as he threw the game’s first pitch.

It has been a long road to recovery, but on Monday, Ortiz made a surprise return to Fenway Park to see his extended family in person, throw out the ceremonial first pitch to his former Red Sox teammate Jason Varitek, and deliver a message to his fans. 

“I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity in my life to be here with all of you,” Ortiz said to the crowd, per ESPN. “I want to thank the Red Sox, my real family. They always have been there for me, supporting me. … They were the first ones there supporting me.”

“I want to thank you for all for your prayers, all of them came home,” Ortiz continued.

When he threw the pitch, his fans went wild.

Former Red Sox legend David Ortiz threw the first pitch Monday night at Boston’s Fenway Park in a game against the Yankees, marking his first public appearance since he was shot in the Dominican Republic in June.

The pitch, tossed to team captain Jason Varitek, prompted fans to go understandably wild. 

Ortiz also thanked his former teammates as well as the Yankees. 

“A lot of my boys over there came to check on Big Papi; I appreciate it,” he said, likely referencing Yankee players and fellow Dominicans Gary Sánchez and Edwin Encarnación, who visited Ortiz at his home last week.

All of Boston wanted Big Papi to know that they were there for him.

The Red Sox introduced Ortiz as a symbol of “resilience, strength, triumph and love,” and those words couldn’t be more true of someone who was able to experience a special day like today after fighting for his life with his family, country, and “fuckin’ city” all behind him.

Fans reacted on Twitter with absolute joy.

Fans from New York to Boston reveled in their excitement across social media. People were genuinely shocked to see David Ortiz on the field at Fenway Park throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

It was the sign that so many were waiting for: to know that Big Papi was on the road to recovery.

Even those who ‘detest’ the Red Sox took to Twitter to wish Big Papi well.

In a sign that Big Papi has fans all around the world, even those who claim to hate the Boston Red Sox took to social media to share in the excitement that one of baseball’s greats was back in the game.

David Ortiz had been recovering from a shooting in his native Dominican Republic.

Ortiz had been shot in the back at a bar while visiting his home country. Following the incident, doctors removed his gallbladder and a portion of his intestine, The Associated Press reported. He also sustained liver damage.

The player underwent three surgeries total after experiencing complications from the gunshot wounds, according to his wife, Tiffany Ortiz. In July, he was released from the hospital and started rehabilitation at home, according to the Red Sox. 

The attorney general of the Dominican Republic, Jean Alain Rodriguez, claimed the intended target of the shooting was the person Ortiz was seated next to, Sixto David Fernández. 

The Young Girl Struck By A Foul Ball Last Year By Cubs Player Has Permanent Brain Damage

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The Young Girl Struck By A Foul Ball Last Year By Cubs Player Has Permanent Brain Damage

albertalmorajr / Instagram

There is terrible news concerning a two-year-old girl that was struck by a foul ball during an Astros game at Minute Maid Park last May. According to an attorney representing her family, the young girl sustained permanent brain damage from the injury and continues to receive anti-seizure medication. Her family fears the injury could put her at risk of seizures for the rest of her life. “She has an injury to a part of the brain, and it is permanent,” attorney Richard Mithoff told the Houston Chronicle. “She remains subject to seizures and is on medication and will be, perhaps, for the rest of her life. That may or may not be resolved.”

The line drive foul ball came off the bat of Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, who was visibly in shock when he saw that the young girl was injured. “It’s opened my eyes to other things,” Almora told the AP a few days after the incident. “I never want it to happen again.”

The young girl, whose identity has not been released, was sitting on her grandfather’s lap seated right next to third base, an area that had no net protection. The foul ball made its way into the stands and struck her in the back of the head. 

The extent of the injury revealed that the girl’s central nervous system was certainly affected by the brain injury, in a way that bears similarities to that of a stroke, doctors said. This part of the brain when injured can cause “seizures, loss of spatial awareness and loss of sensation.” The girl’s parents reported that she has had “periods of unresponsiveness and staring spells, frequent headaches and night terrors,” since the incident. 

When the injury initially happened, the girl had a fractured skull and suffered a seizure. She would also endure associated subdural bleeding, brain contusions, and brain edema. As of now, there has been no notice of any legal action taken against the Astros organization or whether the family intends to do so. NBC reports that the girl’s family has paid for all of her medical bills. 

“She is able to continue with much of her routine as a girl her age would do, but her parents have to be particularly vigilant, as they are,” Mithoff said. “She has wonderful parents and is receiving wonderful care. They obviously are concerned, but she is blessed with a family that is doing relatively well, considering everything.”

If there are any positives to come out of this is Major League Baseball being pushed to take action on fan safety. Just last month, it made the announcement that “all 30 clubs will have netting in place that extends substantially beyond the far end of the dugout.” 

After the incident, the Astors replaced netting and expanded it from foul line to foul line in August, following the same moves by the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals in July. The move to extend netting took years and multiple fan injuries for MLB to take action.

In December, MLB finally made the announcement that all 30 clubs would have extended netting in time for the 2020 season. Seven ballparks will have extended netting from foul pole to foul pole and 15 will extend nets to the where the stands angle away from the field of play. The other eight ballparks will have netting that extends “substantially beyond the far end of the dugout,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. 

“There’s a lot of kids coming to the games — young kids who want to watch us play, and the balls come in hard,” Kris Bryant, Almora’s teammate said after the incident. “I mean, the speed of the game is quick, and I think any safety measure we can take to make sure that the fans are safe, we should do it.”

The issue of ballpark safety has been a hot topic issue in recent years as the number of fans being struck in the stands has increased. According to an NBC News investigation last October, there had been at least 808 reports of injuries to fans from baseballs from 2012 to 2019. Some of those injuries included concussions and permanent vision loss. 

“The family is gratified by the announcement from Major League Baseball that the netting will be extended in all 30 ballparks,” Mithoff said. “This is obviously a very significant step forward.”

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After A Long Recovery, David Ortiz Is Back In The DR For The First Time And His Fans Went Crazy

Entertainment

After A Long Recovery, David Ortiz Is Back In The DR For The First Time And His Fans Went Crazy

Tatiana Fernandez

On June 9 2019, a terrible event shook the baseball world to its core. Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot at a bar and almost lost his life. But Big Papi is indeed bigger than life and he pulled through, surviving and becoming even more of a symbol of inspiration for people in his adoptive Boston, the city which he now calls home and which absolutely adores him.

What made the Big Papi shooting even more shocking is the fact that he has always produced a public image that combines brute force with intelligence and a good nature that makes it hard to believe that he would have any enemies (and well, as it turned out he didn’t and it was all an unfortunate mistake). And the city of Boston got behind him with good wishes, cards and love. Ortiz was, for example, one of the unifying personalities in the city following the Boston Marathon bombings. Kids and adults, everyone loves him. 

The emotional and physical scars of the shooting that almost ended Ortiz’s life are still healing, so it came as a surprise that he decided to visit Dominican Republic.

The news devastated Boston Red Sox fan and Dominicans all around the world: Big Papi Ortiz was shot and struggling to stay alive. By now we know that he survived the incident, but he is clearly still shaken by having faced death.

In the first interview since the incident he broke down in tears, telling Univision: “For the first five seconds, I thought I was having a nightmare … I was feeling something that I had never felt before in my life, and that was to try to stay alive”. It has been almost six months since those bullets punctured his impressive physique. Because he has no enemies and an attempt on his life is a ludicrous idea, he was surprised more than afraid.

As he said during the same interview: “‘I wasn’t hurting (at first). I felt like a little burn, but I don’t even look at that. I know that I was hurting because of the impact and the sound. I started hurting later, probably when I was about to walk into the surgery”. 

It has been determined that the incident was a case of mistaken identity!

As bad luck would have it, those bullets were not intended for Ortiz. The authorities have made it official: the attack at the Santo Domingo bar was a nearly fatal case of mistaken identity. Since then a Dominican drug trafficker has been caught and charged.

The real target was Sixto David Fernández, with whom Ortiz was sharing a table and who is cousins with the alleged perpetrator,  Víctor Hugo Gómez, allegedly an associate of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. So yes, Big Papi got caught in the middle of an international trafficking turf war, and he lost his gallbladder and a big chunk of his intestine, as well as a sense of personal safety, for it. 

Now Ortiz made his first public appearance in the Dominican Republic since he was shot and he received a hero’s welcome.

Credit: Tatiana Fernandez

After he was shot he was taken care of in his adoptive city of Boston, where the slugger has charmed baseball fans and is adored by almost everyone due to his generous spirit and charity worked. Big Papi appeared in front of a cheering crowd when he made a surprise appearance at the Quisqueya Stadium Juan Marichal for the Game of Legends, in which current and past MLB stars from the baseball-crazed country get together for a charity event. 

His words to the cheering crowd: ““Praise God and long live the Dominican Republic.”

Credit: Tatiana Fernandez

There were other stars in the building, of course, including Hall of Famers Pedro Martínez and Juan Marichal, Mets player Robinson Canó and Nationals pelotero Juan Soto. But it was clear that the real rockstar was Big Papi, who was ecstatic about spending time with his people. Dominican fans thought Ortiz would never return to the island que lo vio nacer but that was also the site of the incident that almost took his life.

But Ortiz looked cheerful and was his old generous self, wearing a colorful short-sleeved shirt in the best Caribbean way. But of course he did not participate in the events themselves, as he is still convalescent after multiple surgeries in the Dominican Republic and Boston. As Mail Online reports: “However, he did not participate in any of the events held as part of the Dominican Winter League’s mid-season break”. But his presence is inspiring enough to lift anyone’s spirits and leave the fans happy.