By Peter Marx

“Wow! Cooperstown!” began David Ortiz, kicking off his speech to the crowd sprawled across the grounds at the Clark Sports Complex in Cooperstown, NY.

The gathering was heavily flavored with Red Sox gear sporting Ortiz’s No. 34, not to mention numerous flags representing the Dominican Republic, where Ortiz was born.

Ortiz became the first career designated hitter to be selected on his first ballot when this year’s round of results were announced in January. Ortiz thanked the baseball writers for the honor in his typically high-energy fashion, saying, “You guys got it going on.”

Ortiz becomes the fourth Dominican-born player to be enshrined at the Hall of Fame, joining his longtime friend Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Juan Marichal.

Ortiz, who has dual citizenship, also thanked America before offering up a travel promo for his original home, saying, “To all of my American friends, consider this as an open invitation to visit my island. The Dominican Republic has a special flavor. We have a lot of good and happy people, beautiful beaches where you guys can go when you guys are freezing here.”

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