Manny donates memorabilia to Hall
Slugger offers helmet, lineup card from night of historic homer
BALTIMORE -- There will come a day when Manny Ramirez has a plaque that takes up permanent residence at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. But in the much nearer future, some Ramirez memorabilia to commemorate the star slugger's 500th home run will be on display.
The Red Sox have been in touch with the Hall of Fame to let them know that Ramirez has offered up the batting helmet and lineup card used in Saturday's game, when he clubbed his milestone homer against the Baltimore Orioles.
At some point during their next homestand, the Red Sox will have a pregame ceremony to honor Ramirez. The Hall of Fame is expected to be involved.
Ramirez let Red Sox fan Damon Woo -- who caught the ball in the stands -- hang onto his prize overnight. As Woo promised, he gave the ball back to Ramirez on Sunday.
Boston's star slugger plans on auctioning the baseball for the benefit of a Boston-area charity.
A day later, Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was still marveling at his teammate's accomplishment.
"I was so happy for him," Ortiz said. "If you sit down and analyze it, this guy has played 2,000 games and he has 500 homers. That means every four games, he's hit a homer. You know how hard that is? It's crazy."
Aside from Ramirez's lighthearted personality, one of the reasons his teammates were so excited to see the milestone is because they know how much work has gone into it.
"It's great," said Red Sox infielder Alex Cora. "Great to be a part of it. Can't happen to a better guy. I always say, [people] get caught up in the whole freak show, the triple cutoff guy and the high-five stuff, but that guy, he prepares himself. He's always ready. To have 500 home runs and to be hitting .317 career-wise, that tells you a lot. He's awesome."
It speaks volumes that a hitter who has accomplished as much as Ortiz is awed so much by Ramirez.
"That guy is a Hall of Famer," Ortiz said. "I can tell people now I've played with a Hall of Famer and that Hall of Famer is my boy."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.