Heard on the Hill

Prayers up for Big Papi

Lawmakers issue well wishes to former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz after shooting

David Ortiz makes a surprise appearance at Fenway Park in October. New England lawmakers sent messages of support after Ortiz was shot this weekend. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images file photo)

Lawmakers all across Red Sox Nation are chiming in with their well wishes for retired slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who is recovering from a gunshot wound suffered in his native Dominican Republic.

Everyone from Boston’s Ayanna Pressley to Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island is offering praise and hopes of a speedy recovery for the ailing Red Sox legend. Even former president Barack Obama shared a photo of Ortiz’s White House visit to celebrate the team’s 2013 World Series victory.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts did not respond to a request for comment, but later retweeted Barack Obama’s statement.

Ortiz was shot in the leg in the capital city of Santo Domingo late Sunday night, according to a statement from the Red Sox.

The 10-time all-star began his career with the Minnesota Twins before joining the Red Sox in 2003. It was in Boston that Papi became a folk hero, leading the Red Sox to a dramatic come-from-behind series win in the 2004 American League Championship over the hated rival New York Yankees, en route to winning the team’s first World Series title in 86 years.

But casual sports observers perhaps know Ortiz best for his impassioned speech before the April 20 Fenway Park home opener in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. With a giant American flag draping the stadium’s “Green Monster” in the background, Ortiz declared, “This is our f---ing city, and no one is going to dictate our freedom.” The crowd roared its approval.

Even the notoriously stuffy Federal Communications Commission let the f-bomb slide, with then-Chairman Julius Genachowski tweeting from the agency’s official account, “David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston.”

The team said on its website that Ortiz is in stable condition and will be flown to Boston and treated at Massachusetts General Hospital for continued care.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.