Red Sox

‘He has time for everybody’: Current Red Sox reflect on David Ortiz’s legacy

"There's no ego when it comes to helping others."

Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Ortiz had plenty to celebrate over the years. David Richard/USA Today Sports

When Rich Hill thinks of David Ortiz, and his baseball legacy, of course Ortiz’s power, dominance in the clutch, and larger-than life personality stand out.

There’s another part of Ortiz, however, that the public doesn’t see, that has stuck with Hill over the years. Hill, who spent four years as his teammate in the early 2010s and is now back with the Red Sox, lauds Ortiz for the way he treats every single teammate with the utmost respect.

“He has time for everybody,” Hill told “There’s no ego when it comes to helping others. Sometimes you find guys that when you’re seeking advice, they’re not really that cordial to give you the time of day. He always takes whatever time you need. That’s something I’ll always remember about him.”


Ortiz, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, was always brimming with confidence. That approach resonated with the left-hander Hill and his teammates, as they saw first-hand how much he genuinely believed in himself.

“He had 100 percent conviction behind his ability,” Hill said. “That’s something that was really influential in a lot of guys’ careers. They could use that as an example of what they could do in their own career.”

Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who also spent four seasons with Ortiz, echoed those thoughts and expressed his gratitude toward Ortiz for always carving out time.

He called him a great mentor, teammate, and player and said his teammates appreciate how much he’s helped them along the way. Whenever he walks into the clubhouse nowadays, he makes his presence felt and is, naturally, anything but reserved.

“He’s a very boisterous person. He’s exciting and energetic,” Bradley Jr. told “He’s a guy who’s always going to bring energy to whatever particular area he’s at, and I think that’s what’s allowed him to have this larger-than-nature type of feeling for this city.”

Catcher Kevin Plawecki, who didn’t play with Ortiz but has interacted with him periodically over the years, said his presence is made known and his energy spreads quickly whenever he comes to Fenway Park. No one needs to say anything, but everyone knows he’s in the building.


Plawecki said he treats everyone with respect, whether he’s known them for decades or just met them, and he makes everyone feel like family.

“What you see on TV, he’s the same guy when talking to him,” Plawecki said. “The energy he brings, the confidence he brings, and I guess you could say the swagger he brings and the way he carries himself, I think that’s what made him so good.”

Outfielder Jarren Duran, who grew up a Red Sox fan in California, credits Ortiz for spicing up his childhood. Whenever Ortiz comes around now, the youngster Duran said he simply tries not to get in his way.

If his older teammates’ testimonials hold true, perhaps Duran will gather up the courage to chat with one of his idols next time around.

“I just thought he was the most clutch player I’ve ever seen,” Duran said. “Whenever he came up, it was always like he was going to get the job done. Sometimes you forget that he’s human.”


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