Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, shown in 2022, was...

Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, shown in 2022, was honored by the New York state Senate on Monday. Credit: AP/John Minchillo

ALBANY — David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who was a Yankee killer for the Boston Red Sox, slayed New Yorkers again on Monday.

In a visit to the state Capitol, he was honored for the 20th anniversary of the World Series that he helped win over the St. Louis Cardinals and for his extensive work helping fellow Dominicans. As he strode through the halls, Ortiz was informed several times that he is still the man, and that he’s loved in New York despite his poor choice in employers.

The Red Sox knocked the New York Yankees out of the postseason in 2004 — in the process becoming the only MLB team to rally from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series.

“We respect the man, regardless of the team,” said Assemb. Chris Eachus (D-Central Valley), who was presiding over the Assembly session.

A formal proclamation presented in the State Senate read: “the state Senate will pause on Monday to honor a man who regularly crushed New Yorkers’ hopes and dreams.”

Ortiz, 48, took it all in his very long stride, stopping for some selfies with Yankees fans.

“I love New York,” Ortiz told Newsday. “I have family in New York,” he said, then smiled. “All Dominicans have family in New York.”

Ortiz was honored for his Hall of Fame career, his clutch hitting that brought the Red Sox their first world championships after more than 80 years of the curse from trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees and for his 541 home runs.

Ortiz’s charity work has benefited children’s causes in the Dominican Republic, Boston and New York. Ortiz elevated baseball through sportsmanship in the 2000s and lifted spirits when he helped Boston rally after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

“Thank you, Big Papi, for leaving an indelible mark,” Sen. Luis R. Sepúlveda (D-Bronx) said.

Sepúlveda, who is also Dominican, said Ortiz is trying to extend the work he does for children’s cancer in the Dominican Republic and in Boston hospitals to the Bronx.

“The guy is an internationally beloved figure and he has a foundation that helps children with cancer,” Sepúlveda told Newsday. “I’m a die-hard Yankees fan, and he gives me some pain in my heart … but he also gives us a great source of pride.”

Ortiz, 48, works for the sports gambling site DraftKings, which features him in “Big Papi’s Play of the Day,” for his game predictions.

DraftKings has been a major lobbyist for legislation to legalize and expand sports gambling since 2019, according to state lobbying records. Mobile sports betting has been legal in New York for two years and has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in bets. New York State receives more than $700 million a year in revenues from sports betting.

Several bills are pending this legislative session that would impose another tax on sports gambling to fund gambling addiction programs and youth sports.

“I played the game respectfully; I gave everything I had,” Ortiz said Monday.

The Yankees “had the opportunity to sign me and they didn’t. Now they have to pay for it,” he quipped.


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