David Ortiz on The Bradfo Show: ‘I only think about the Hall of Fame when you guys talk to me about it’
|06.12.14 at 1:26 pm ET|
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz joined Rob Bradford on The Bradfo Show podcast to discuss his future candidacy for the Hall of Fame. To listen to the interview, go to The Bradfo Show audio on demand page.
Ortiz has compiled an impressive track record during his 17-year career, with three World Series titles, a World Series MVP award, nine All-Star nods and 445 home runs to his name. While Ortiz has heard Hall of Fame talk from the media for years, his teammates called him “Cooperstown” during the 2013 World Series, when Ortiz posted an otherworldly line of .688/.760/1.188 in six games en route to the team’s eighth championship.
While the debate over whether Ortiz will one day have his name enshrined in Cooperstown continues, Ortiz stated that he tends to not think about it.
“I’m going to be honest with you, it’s literally nothing. Like, I don’t think about it. I haven’t sat down and acknowledged my numbers to go to the Hall of Fame or anything like that,” Ortiz said. “I just keep on trying to have fun and try to keep on winning. I know this career is not forever, but I’m just trying to keep on having fun and keep people smiling and try to put on a good show, because at the end of the day, the time to worry about the Hall of Fame, it’s going to come.
“I’m going to have plenty of time to think about it and say whatever I want to say or think whatever I want to think about it, but to be honest with you, I only think about the Hall of Fame when you guys talk to me about it.”
The Hall of Fame has been historically been rough on designated hitters, as All-Star sluggers such as Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines have been consistently snubbed year after year. The Hall finally welcomed its first DH this year, as Frank Thomas — who spent 58 percent of his career games at designated hitter — was elected on Jan. 8 with 83.7 percent of the vote.
Ortiz doesn’t agree with the Hall of Fame’s dismissive views of his position.
“Well, the one thing with the designated hitter is that people think it’s easy to be a designated hitter, and those guys got famous because they kept on coming through with the big hits to help their ball clubs to win games,” Ortiz said. “You don’t begin to be famous as a designated hitter when people don’t even see you out there playing defense. … It’s hard, man. If you don’t hit, if you don’t produce as a hitter, your name doesn’t get to mentioned or nothing.”
Ortiz also stated that closers have traditionally been disregarded for Hall of Fame induction, even though, like designated hitters, they usually play a huge role in most games.
Only five closers have been elected to the Hall of Fame: Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and Hoyt Wilhelm.
“Well that’s not going to stop Mariano [Rivera] from going. How about [Trevor] Hoffman? There’s a lot of guys doing a lot of good thing to put their ball club in the situation of winning games.
“There’s a lot of other things that guys that play the game know. That’s part of being successful and being a winner and winning championships, it just doesn’t take a big hit to go with it. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of things you put together all the way around the 25-man roster for you to win games.”
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