The Boston Red Sox held a “moment of reflection, thought and prayer” for David Ortiz at Fenway Park Monday before the team’s game against the Texas Rangers.
A message on one of the scoreboards in the park read, “We send our love to David Ortiz.” Fans honored Ortiz with posters, T-shirts, and messages of support.
“All of us were shocked by last night’s news about David Ortiz and our community has felt a palpable concern ever since,” said Red Sox announcer Henry Mahegan. “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.”
Ortiz, 43, was shot in the back Sunday night in the Dominican Republic, at a nightclub in his native Santo Domingo. Felix Durán Mejia, a spokesman for the country’s national police, told CNN “the bullet went through his stomach.”
The baseball legend had to undergo surgery because he was being treated for bleeding in his liver and having portions of his intestines and gall bladder removed, said Leo Lopez, Ortiz’s media assistant.
The Red Sox sent a plane to Santo Domingo Monday to pick up Ortiz and take him to Massachusetts General Hospital, according to Sam Kennedy, the team’s president and CEO.
Ortiz, also known as Big Papi, was reared in Santo Domingo and made his Major League Baseball debut in 1997.
The first baseman and designated hitter played 20 seasons before retiring in 2016. While Ortiz’s major league career began with the Minnesota Twins, he is best known for his 14 seasons in Boston as the Red Sox’s designated hitter.