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Designated Hitter

They practically had to induct David Ortiz into the Hall of Fame after he showed up in this fit

January 26, 2022

On Tuesday, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced their annual inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame. A year after admitting no one, the stodgy old stooges once again grabbed headlines with who they didn’t invite, shutting out Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa in their 10th and final years of eligibility. Baseball fans will debate this until the game is being played with barbed-wire bats in bombed-out stadiums in the Nuclear Winter League 150 years from now, but the name the BWAA did admit this year is perhaps just as controversial. That name is David Ortiz.

Ortiz is now not only a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but just the second career DH to make the hall, setting a clear precedent moving forward: If you took banned pills to recover from injury, you are out; if you made three to four plate appearances a game and spent the rest of the season chewing sunflower seeds, you are in. It’s yet another thing baseball fans will argue about until the sun burns out, but on Tuesday those cries were drowned out by the blinding glint of Big Papi’s Hall of Fame fit, which deserves its own display in Cooperstown beside Larry Walker’s Spongebob bowling shirt.

Maybe you’re a Yankees fan. Maybe you’re an NL traditionalist. Maybe you have more than a hamster brain and also remember that Ortiz was the subject of alleged PED use back in 2003. But none of that matters when a guy shows up to pr proverbial job interview dressed like Xzibit just pimped out your gammy's couch. What are you going to do? Not give him the gig? Do you know stupid he would feel? You can’t have that on your conscience. You practically have to let the guy have your office right there on the spot. Best we can tell, that’s what happened with Ortiz.

So bottle those complaints for now. There will be plenty of time to uncork them in the coming weeks when baseball is still locked out and we’re willing to do anything to fill the Spring Training-shaped hole in our hearts. Until then, grab that dusty old pair of eclipse sunglasses and admire Big Papi for what he is: A Hall of Famer.