SANTO DOMINGO — Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz made his first public appearance in the Dominican Republic on Sunday nearly six months after he was shot in what authorities called a case of mistaken identity.
The Dominican-born superstar was greeted by a standing ovation and raucous cheers when he entered the Quisqueya Stadium Juan Marichal for the Game of Legends, a charity exhibition and home run derby featuring Dominican major league players and retired stars.
“Praise God and long live the Dominican Republic,” Ortiz said to the thousands of fans in the country’s most important stadium.
He thanked his fans, fellow players and the press for its support after the shooting.
“I’m happy to be here with my people,” he told The Associated Press before the game. He did not play.
Also present were Dominican stars such as Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal, Mets second baseman Robinson Cano and Nationals outfielder Juan Soto.
A 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion, Ortiz helped the Red Sox end their 86-year championship drought in 2004 and batted .688 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013 to win the Series MVP.
Ortiz retired after the 2016 season with 541…