David Ortiz: Hall of Famer

AP+Photo%2F+Gary+Weipert

AP Photo/ Gary Weipert

A building established in 1936 to raise funds for Major League Baseball during the Great Depression, the Baseball Hall of Fame stands a strong red brick tribute to the best players and managers in baseball’s storied history. Located in Cooperstown, NY, the museum currently honors 310 inductees. With sports evolving every day, the Baseball Hall of Fame strives to connect generations of baseball and to solidify baseball’s role in America as her favorite pastime.

Each player hopes one day to be remembered among the legendary names in Cooperstown, but with outstanding achievement follows controversy and speculation as to which players deserve to call themselves true hall of famers. Recently, the world has been analyzing David Ortiz, nicknamed Big Papi, whose candidacy remains a hot button topic. Without a doubt, Ortiz is one of the most recognizable players in baseball, and is currently a designated hitter on the Boston Red Sox.

Before speculating on the legitimacy of Ortiz’s candidacy, one must look at the Baseball Hall of Fame’s specific rules for induction. Players must have played in the major league for a minimum of ten years and must also be retired for five years before their names can appear on the ballot. Then a screening committee selects the best players who meet that criteria. Potential inductees can appear on the ballot in the yearly election for a maximum of ten years before his or her name will be removed. Candidates are inducted if and when they receive 75% or more of the votes.

Many think that David Ortiz will have a very hard time securing himself a position in the hall of fame with these standards. He has already hit the landmark of five hundred career home runs, which, as history suggests, is a qualification that makes a player a no brainer inductee. Ortiz is quite the unique case because in the instance of his other numbers (batting averages, RBIs, etc.), the consistency of his bat doesn’t quite compare to that of others designated hitters in Cooperstown, like Frank Thomas, known as MLB’s best Designated Hitter.

Ortiz also tested positive on a drug test for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. Ortiz still maintains that he tested negative for numerous other tests and that the one positive test reflected an accidental drug that he had no intention of taking. For some voters, this one drug test could be enough to lose him the vote.

Regardless of his drug test scandal, Ortiz does have three World Series victories with the Red Sox as well as his own outstanding career. People regard and celebrate Ortiz for his funny personality and his strength at the plate. Big Papi truly presents a very tough case for the voters; he contributes greatly to the success of his team and has a special ability to hit home runs. He can be looked at as each of the following: a player who tested positive for PEDs with less than fantastic averages or a baseball legend with a very rare affinity for hitting home runs who has never allowed anything to get in between him and his bat.