Martinez and Ortiz were teammates while with the Boston Red Sox in 2003 and 2004. They teamed up to win the 2004 World Series. Martinez was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 and now works for MLB Network.
He said he is “hanging in there” after Ortiz was shot Sunday at the club Dial Discotheque in Santo Domingo. Ortiz, 43, was flown to Boston on Monday for care at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has already had two surgeries. Police have a suspect in custody in relation to the shooting.
Ortiz’s wife Tiffany issued a statement Tuesday morning, saying that her husband was “stable, awake and resting comfortably.”
Martinez called his friend a “great role model to society” and a great father.
“I don’t have enough words to describe what David means to baseball,” Martinez said on MLB Tonight. “But I’m so disappointed to know that someone like David, who saved so many lives, can have someone after his life. I’m sorry, but it hurts me. It hurts me.”
“A guy that saves lives … to reach a level that everybody that works wants to reach. Whoever has any job, wants to get where David got.”
“…To see someone want to take his life away, in such a coward way, it bothers me, deeply.”
Martinez wiped tears from his eyes as he spoke about his former teammate. Ortiz was an instrumental figure in rallying Boston residents following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, giving an emotional speech just days after the attack.
“This is our [expletive] city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom,” Ortiz said before the Red Sox faced the Kansas City Royals in Boston.
Ortiz also founded the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which provides essential support for children in the Dominican Republic and in New England who cannot afford the critical cardiac services they need. Ortiz received the Robert Clemente Award in 2011 from Major League Baseball for his work with the fund.
The 10-time All-Star, three-time World Series champion and 2013 World Series MVP played 14 of his 20 seasons with the Red Sox, retiring after his 2016 campaign.