Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was shot in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on Sunday, June 9 in what authorities say was a botched robbery attempt.
According to ESPN, the three-time Major League Baseball champion was enjoying retirement in his hometown when a man rode in on a motorcycle and ambushed Ortiz while he was enjoying the night out with friends at the Dial Bar and Lounge in the Ensanche Ozama/Zona Oriental area of the D.R.
The man shot Ortiz at close range and struck the retired baseball star in the back, which went through his body and exited his abdomen. He was rushed to the local hospital where he immediately underwent surgery, according to ESPN and CNN.
Ortiz’s father, Lee Ortiz, calmed the multitude of fans worried about Ortiz’s condition, telling ESPN Deportes that he had a successful surgery and remains hospitalized as he continues to heal from the gunshot wound.
“David Ortiz will be around for a long time,” Lee Ortiz later told a swarm of media members outside the local hospital on the Caribbean island nation that has been in the news the past few weeks for all the wrong reasons.
There are videos floating around on Twitter that show the moment when Otiz was shot and mass chaos ensued. One video shows the gunman trying to flee the scene. But he did not get far as a mob of people grabbed him, beat him up and held him until authorities arrived.
Ortiz, 43, nicknamed the “Big Papi,” is beloved in Boston and New England as the man who helped finally kill the “Curse of the Bambino” (Babe Ruth was traded from Boston to the New York Yankees in 1920, thereby initiating the so-called “curse” after the Red Sox failed to win a championship after his departure) and helped the Red Sox finally win their first World Series in 86 years in 2004.
Overall, Ortiz played 20 seasons and was a 10-time All-Star. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997, but Ortiz played the rest of his career in Boston, where he reigned as the soul and muscle of the franchise that won World Series titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013.
Ortiz finally retired after the 2016 season after belting 541 home runs, good for 17th of all time.