BOSTON -- Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who was shot and wounded at a club in his hometown of Santo Domingo on Sunday, is now recovering in Boston.
Having arrived in Boston from the Dominican Republic via an air ambulance on Monday night, Ortiz underwent a second surgery, according to his wife, Tiffany Ortiz. In stable condition, David Ortiz will continue his recovery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ortiz "even flashed that smile," his media assistant, Leo Lopez, told ESPN.
“David arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital last night and underwent a successful second surgery," Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement released by the Red Sox. "He is stable, awake, and resting comfortably this morning in the ICU where he is expected to remain for the next several days."
NESN's broadcast of Monday night's Red Sox game showed footage of the ambulance carrying David Ortiz arriving at the hospital sometime before 10:30 p.m. ET, just moments prior to the completion of Boston’s 4-3 loss to the Rangers.
“David Ortiz is probably the most beloved and one of the most important players in our history, leading us to multiple World Series championships, and an active member in the community," said Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy. "I would be hard-pressed to think of anyone more beloved than David. It’s a very difficult day for the organization.
“I love David Ortiz. We all love David Ortiz. So telling my kids last night what had happened was very difficult. It’s hard to express what David Ortiz means to the Boston Red Sox. When you love someone and they come in harm’s way, it’s jarring. But you have to put those emotions aside and focus on what’s necessary."
Lopez told ESPN that the former slugger underwent a six-hour operation performed by three doctors, led by Dr. Abel Gonzalez. Ortiz's father, Leo Ortiz, addressed reporters on Sunday and said doctors anticipate a full recovery.
"Doctors say he is out of danger, but he is heavily sedated and will be in intensive care for the next 24 hours," Lopez said.
"It’s shocking when you get this type of news," president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. "Your heart goes out immediately to his family. It was also difficult gathering information that was accurate. You’re shaking, really, is what it all comes down to when you hear something like this.”
Just before the Red Sox's game against the Rangers at Fenway Park, the team paid tribute to Ortiz with an announcement from the public address announcer and a message on the scoreboard. Just to the right of an image of Ortiz’s retired No. 34 was the inscription: “We send our love to David Ortiz.”
For several seconds, the crowd had a quiet reflection in recognition of Ortiz. And then they applauded.
A couple of minutes later, a highlight montage ended with an image of Ortiz waving his arms to the crowd after his final game. The crowd cheered again.
"On behalf of me and my family, I want to thank John and Linda Henry, Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and the Boston Red Sox for all that they are doing for David and our family, as well as Dr. Larry Ronan and the amazing staff at Massachusetts General Hospital," Tiffany Ortiz said. “Lastly, I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and love that we have received during this incredibly difficult time. We ask for privacy as David works towards recovery.”
Two others were also wounded in the incident, including Jhoel Lopez, a Dominican television host who was with Ortiz, Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte told ESPN. Bautista said the alleged driver of a motorcycle that brought the suspected shooter to the scene was captured by civilians near where the shooting took place. The alleged driver was identified as 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia, according to police spokesman Colonel Frank Duran Mejia. Sources close to the investigation told ESPN that the alleged gunman was also in custody, though police have only acknowledged one arrest.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s a crazy world we live in,” said Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. “You never want to see anything like that happen to anyone in general. Obviously with someone you know, it kind of hits close to home. Still have a job to do. His family is in our prayers and we’ll continue to pull for him.”
Originally signed by the Mariners in 1992, Ortiz was traded to the Twins in 1996 and played parts of six seasons with Minnesota. Ortiz was released by the Twins and signed with the Red Sox in 2003.
The 43-year-old Ortiz belted 541 home runs overall in his career and led the Red Sox to World Series championships in 2004, 2007 and 2013 before retiring after the 2016 season. Ortiz was named MVP of the 2013 Fall Classic. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he was a 10-time All-Star and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Ortiz also holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, which he set in 2006.
Among designated hitters, Ortiz is the all-time leader in MLB history for homers (485), RBIs (1,569), and hits (2,192). He is eligible to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.
Ortiz currently serves as an MLB studio analyst for FOX Sports. He contributes to the network’s regular season, All-Star Game, postseason and World Series coverage.