Big Papi’s back on Twitter

David Ortiz.
David Ortiz.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Big Papi’s back on Twitter.

Red Sox legend David Ortiz on Thursday afternoon tweeted for the first time since he was nearly killed in a shooting June 9 in his native Dominican Republic.

“Yooo @Twitter . . . I’m baccckk,” Ortiz wrote, continuing that he was “catching up on all the tweets I missed the past few months. Thankful for all the luv n support.”

A number of people and organizations quickly responded, including Major League Baseball. The league’s official Twitter handle replied, “Welcome back, Papi!” as well as a heart emoji and a gif of Sox fans holding up placards that spelled out O-R-T-I-Z at Fenway Park.


Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director for the advocacy group Human Rights Watch, gave the former World Series MVP love from abroad.

“Welcome back, Big Papi!” Robertson tweeted. “Red Sox fans in Bangkok love you!”

Jeff Locke, a former Major League pitcher from New Hampshire, responded by simply tweeting out a fist emoji.

Ortiz brought the house down at Fenway earlier this month when he threw out the first pitch to resounding cheers from the crowd.

“First of all, I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity of my life and being able to be here with all of you,” Ortiz told his adoring fans. “I want to thank the Red Sox — my real family — they always have been there for me, supporting me no matter where I’m at. They were the first ones to support me. Thank you very much.”

In a recent Globe interview, Ortiz described the chaotic aftermath of the shooting, which occurred in the patio area of the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo, where Ortiz had been sipping scotch with friends.

“I felt a burning sensation,’’ Ortiz told the Globe. “I felt weird, like not myself, as I went down.’’


As a grainy videotape of the shooting shows, Ortiz, 43, slumped to the bar’s wooden floor within seconds of the gunshot. At the sound of the shot, patrons scattered, including Ortiz’s companions. He was left alone, writhing on the floor, critically injured.

“Then this angel comes out of nowhere,’’ Ortiz recalled.

The angel, a Dial Bar patron named Eliezer Salvador, helped Ortiz into the back seat of his Rolls-Royce SUV. The vehicle was boxed in by other parked cars, so Salvador rammed his way out of the space, sending Ortiz rocking back and forth in his seat.

They sped toward a public hospital, only to change course when Ortiz asked to be taken to a private clinic. He remained upright and conscious as Salvador, who once had been shot in the stomach himself, weaved at a harrowing pace through traffic.

“He knew how to react,’’ Ortiz said. “He kept talking to me to make sure I stayed awake.’’

A number of suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting, including the alleged triggerman. Authorities have said Ortiz was mistakenly targeted, a claim met with broad skepticism after officials initially said Ortiz had been the target of an attempted contract killing.

The retired ballplayer has hired Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner who’s also done security consulting for the Globe, to look into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Aimee Ortiz and Bob Hohler of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.