If David Ortiz had a vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame, Barry Bonds would be on his ballot.
The Boston Red Sox legend told TMZ Sports that "hopefully" Bonds gets into Cooperstown because he's "the best player of all time."
On a purely statistical level, Bonds is certainly on the shortlist of the best players in Major League Baseball history. He is the sport's all-time leader in home runs (762) and walks (2,558).
Bonds won a record seven NL MVP awards and was named to the All-Star team 14 times in 22 seasons.
He was also among a large group of people linked to BALCO, a lab corporation that supplied performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes.
Bonds was originally convicted on a charge of obstruction of justice for impeding a grand jury investigation into the BALCO scandal, but the conviction was overturned on appeal in 2015.
Ortiz was also connected to performance-enhancing drugs during his playing career. Big Papi was among a group of roughly 100 players who reportedly tested positive for PEDs in 2003, per Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times.
The 2003 season marked the first time MLB tested for steroids as part of the 2002 joint drug agreement in the CBA.
Per the rules of the CBA, if more than five percent of all player tests in 2003 returned positive, it would trigger testing with penalties starting the following year. The league announced after the 2003 season that between five to seven percent of 1,438 anonymous tests returned positive for steroids.
"I’m not talking about that anymore,” Ortiz said in 2009 about being named on the list, via Schmidt. "I have no comment."
There has been some momentum for Bonds to get into the Hall of Fame in recent years. His vote total has increased every year from his first time on the ballot in 2013 (36.2 percent) to 2021 (61.8 percent).
Bonds will need to receive a significant boost in support in his final year on the ballot in 2022. Election into Cooperstown requires 75 percent of the vote.
Next year will also mark Ortiz's first time on the Hall of Fame ballot.