David Ortiz reveals Pedro Martinez's advice for HoF speech originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Pedro Martinez is among the many former teammates of David Ortiz in Cooperstown for his Hall of Fame induction on Sunday.
Martinez, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, is responsible for Ortiz joining the Boston Red Sox in 2003. The legendary right-handed pitcher lobbied for the Red Sox to take a chance on the slugging first baseman, who was released after six years with the Minnesota Twins.
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“Pedro is a big brother. Me and Pedro go way back,” Ortiz told reporters at his pre-induction press conference Saturday. “We have so many memories together.”
Nearly two decades later, Ortiz will achieve baseball immortality following a remarkable career that included three World Series titles, 10 All-Star selections, and 541 home runs.
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Ortiz is known for his ability to come through in the clutch, so there's little doubt he'll give a memorable speech during Sunday's induction ceremony. Still, Martinez gave him some advice ahead of the big day.
“Last night he was basically giving me a speech. Telling me what to do (Sunday). How to handle business,” Ortiz said. “The most important thing was that he didn’t want me to lose my focus. Don’t forget about where I come from. Be me. Have fun. That’s what it’s all about. In the beginning, it was crazy. Emotion is always going to be popping up. Just be me.”
Other former teammates in town for Ortiz's induction include Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, Johnny Damon, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek, and Tim Wakefield.
"Going back to my Minnesota days, all the way to Boston, all I can say is I always tried to have my teammates' back," Ortiz said. "That's why you're going to see so many of them out there tomorrow."
Ortiz will be inducted at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.