Boston great David Ortiz undergoes surgery after being shot

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Monday, June 10, 2019

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Doctors removed David Ortiz's gallbladder and part of his intestine after the beloved former Boston Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi was ambushed by a gunman at a bar in his native Dominican Republic, a spokesman said Monday.

Leo López said that the retired athlete's liver was also damaged and that he was in stable condition in intensive care. He said Ortiz will be flown to Boston once his condition improves.

Ortiz, 43, is one of the most popular figures in sports history in the Dominican Republic and Boston, a fearsome power hitter with a ready smile. He led the Red Sox to three World Series championships, was a 10-time All-Star and hit 541 home runs.

Dozens of fans crowded the hospital in Santo Domingo where Ortiz was being treated, causing a traffic jam. In the U.S., fans prayed for his recovery.

"He's a great friend to the city of Boston," Sheila Kieran said. New England Patriots star Julian Edelman joined the throngs of pro sports figures who took to social media to wish Ortiz well, assuring him on Instagram: "Papi, all of New England has your back."

Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on Sunday night when a gunman approached from behind and shot him at close range, said National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte.

The gunman has not been identified or arrested.