LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Former Red Sox great David Ortiz — perhaps best known as baseball’s Big Papi — was shot in the Dominican Republic.
Conflicting reports said Ortiz, 43, was shot in the leg or the back.
CNN quotes the spokesperson for the Dominican National Police that Ortiz was shot in the back and the bullet went through his stomach. He spent several hours in surgery, his brother said via a translator on Twitter.
Leo Ortiz, David Ortiz’s father, told reporters outside the hospital that the former Red Sox star is out of surgery and in stable condition.
“We’re just waiting for the doctors to take him out of the surgery room,” he said. “He is resting right now. No, there are no other damages that we know of. He is stable.”
Leo Ortiz also told reporters he had no idea why someone would have shot at his son.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Ortiz was the intended target. Surveillance video on social media would appear that Ortiz was shot during an altercation at a bar.
CNN also quoted a source saying “multiple people” have been detained.
The Dominican Health Service said one of the suspects is also receiving medical treatment after being attacked by bystanders and fans of Ortiz.
During his 20 years in the big leagues, Ortiz played for the Minnesota Twins for six years and the remainder of his time in Boston. The Twins released him believing his career was over — then he had a career resurgence and is credited with helping Boston finally win a championship in 2004 after a 96-year drought.
In addition to being beloved on the field, Ortiz has parlayed his baseball fame into a series of commercials for Reebok, Turbo Tax, Dunkin’ Donuts, among others. He memorably pranked Boston residents when he went undercover as a Lyft driver in 2016.
Ortiz is a constant figure in pop culture. He;s played himself in movie’s like “Patriot’s Day” and “Check Mate.” Kenan Thompson often imitated his thick accent on “Saturday Night Live.” Baseball announcer Matt Vasgersian imitates him using a puppet known as Big Poppet. After he retired from baseball, Ortiz starred in his own reality show, “Big Poppi Needs A Job,” where he took on odd jobs , often with hilarious consequences.
MLB, baseball players past and present and celebrity fans (like Stephen King, Alyssa Milano) took to social media to wish Ortiz — a future Hall of Famer — a speedy recovery.
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