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'Big Papi' is the newest member of baseball's hall of fame

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Congratulations to Big Papi. He's the newest member of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. In his 20 seasons in the majors, David Ortiz was known for his big hits and even bigger personality.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Over his career, the 10-time All-Star smashed 541 homeruns, some of them game-winning hits for the Boston Red Sox, like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Ortiz in the deep right field. Back is Sheffield. We'll see you later tonight.

MARTIN: This was his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. Ortiz got enough votes to make the cut, but two other superstars in their last year on the ballot did not.

HOWARD BRYANT: Roger Clemens is arguably the greatest pitcher of his time, maybe the greatest pitcher of all time. Barry Bonds is the best baseball player I've ever seen. There's no question about that.

INSKEEP: But Howard Bryant of ESPN, who voted for Ortiz, says he could not cast a ballot for either Bonds or Clemens.

BRYANT: There's no ambiguity here. It's not because they were nice guys or they weren't nice guys or, you know, the writers are vindictive. It's drugs. And if we weren't talking about steroids, they would have been in the Hall of Fame a decade ago.

MARTIN: Bryant says last night's vote sends a clear message about baseball's attitude toward performance-enhancing drugs. David Ortiz, Big Papi, will be inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in July.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOKHOV'S "DREAM WEAVER") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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