David Ortiz becomes the newest Wisconsin connection at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

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David Ortiz was the only player voted into the 2022 class for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
David Ortiz was the only player voted into the 2022 class for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

David Ortiz is headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the sole inductee in the 2022 class chosen by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

He is the third inductee with strong Wisconsin ties (one could argue fourth) since 2018, joining former Brewers Trevor Hoffman and Ted Simmons as well as Chicago White Sox star Harold Baines, who began his minor-league career with the Appleton Foxes.

Likewise, Ortiz's baseball journey took an early spin through Appleton, when he was a member of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 1996, where he hit 18 home runs.

The Timber Rattlers were part of the Seattle Mariners' farm system at the time. Ortiz, who preferred to go by the name David Arias before changing his name after making the big leagues in 1997, was traded by Seattle after the 1996 season to Minnesota as the player to be named in a deal for Dave Hollins. Ortiz went on to play parts of six years with the Twins, then saw his career blossom with the Boston Red Sox.

Ortiz joins Baines (who played for Appleton in 1977) and Goose Gossage (who played for Appleton in 1970) as Hall of Famers to played minor-league ball in Appleton. The Foxes changed their name to the Timber Rattlers in 1995.

Not only that, but Ortiz met his wife, Tiffany, during his time there, and the couple married in 2002. A native of Kaukauna, Tiffany (née Brick) became key to running the David Ortiz Children's Fund, and they shared a love of the Green Bay Packers. Tiffany announced last month that they are getting divorced after nearly 25 years together.

Perhaps it's not as concrete a Wisconsin connection as others on this list. Check out the Wisconsin ties to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ted Simmons (2020)

Dave Winfield of the New York Yankees prepared to slide under catcher Ted Simmons of the Milwaukee Brewers in an attempt to back up a double play in 1982.
Dave Winfield of the New York Yankees prepared to slide under catcher Ted Simmons of the Milwaukee Brewers in an attempt to back up a double play in 1982.

The eight-time all-star during his 21-year career was twice so honored during his five years with the Brewers (1981-85). In 1982, Simmons played in 137 games and hit .269 with 23 home runs and 97 RBI and was part of a core group that led the Brewers to their only World Series.

Simmons joined Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Don Sutton and Rollie Fingers as members of the 1982 Brewers team in the Hall.

Trevor Hoffman (2018)

Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman is carried off the field after the Brewers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals  4-2 on Sept. 7, 2010, in Milwaukee. Hoffman picked up his career 600th save.
Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman is carried off the field after the Brewers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Sept. 7, 2010, in Milwaukee. Hoffman picked up his career 600th save.

Obviously, he's known for his career in San Diego, but he spent two years with the Brewers in 2009 and 2010, achieving his milestone 600th career save with the team.

Paul Molitor (2004)

1982: Paul Molitor wearing the away uniform while batting in the World Series.
1982: Paul Molitor wearing the away uniform while batting in the World Series.

Though he finished his career with productive stints in Toronto and Minnesota, his plaque features a Milwaukee cap, acknowledging his long tenure with the Brewers from 1978-92. The dynamic third baseman and contact hitter posted more than 3,000 hits, 600 doubles and 500 steals, with a memorable 39-game hitting streak in 1987. Molitor also played minor-league baseball with the Beloit Snappers.

Robin Yount (1999)

1974: As a teenage rookie, Yount wears a Brewers uniform for the first time during spring training in 1974. The uniform style remains unchanged, for now.
1974: As a teenage rookie, Yount wears a Brewers uniform for the first time during spring training in 1974. The uniform style remains unchanged, for now.

The lone member of the Hall of Fame who spent his entire career with Milwaukee from 1974-93, Yount had more than 3,000 hits, won two MVPs and is as much the face of the franchise as anyone in history.

Don Sutton (1998)

Pitcher Don Sutton makes his debut for the Brewers in 1982 after a blockbuster trade.
Pitcher Don Sutton makes his debut for the Brewers in 1982 after a blockbuster trade.

The trade acquisition in 1982 paid huge dividends as the Brewers made a run to the World Series. He ultimately wore the Brewers uniform for three seasons from 1982-84, with other stints in Los Angeles, Houston, Oakland and California with the Angels.

Phil Niekro (1997)

No. 35 — Phil Niekro
No. 35 — Phil Niekro

Had the Milwaukee Braves not relocated, he may be a household name in this town. His first two seasons came with the Milwaukee Braves in 1965-66, and the knuckleballer went on to finish among the top 10 in career strikeouts. He worked mostly as a reliever in Milwaukee, but he become a mainstay with the Atlanta Braves.

Rollie Fingers (1992)

Rollie Fingers throws a pitch in 1984 after returning from injury.
Rollie Fingers throws a pitch in 1984 after returning from injury.

The mustachioed reliever may be most associated with Oakland, but he was huge for the Brewers from 1981-85, serving as a key figure in two playoff runs. He won the Cy Young Award with the Brewers in the 1981 season and appeared in 16 World Series games with the A's. Had he been healthy in 1982, who knows if the Brewers could have won the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals?

Red Schoendienst (1989)

Albert "Red" Schoendienst, Milwaukee Braves second baseman, photographed during spring training in Bradenton, Florida, March, 1958.
Albert "Red" Schoendienst, Milwaukee Braves second baseman, photographed during spring training in Bradenton, Florida, March, 1958.

Known as a St. Louis Cardinal, he spent three-plus seasons with the Braves from 1957-60, becoming a key contributor to the 1957 run to the World Series (and finishing third in the MVP voting that year). He made his final all-star team in 1957 and returned to St. Louis for three more seasons in his late 30s.

Enos Slaughter (1985)

Enos Slaughter adjusts his tie before boarding the train for a road trip in 1957.
Enos Slaughter adjusts his tie before boarding the train for a road trip in 1957.

He's best known for his long career with the Cardinals, but the star outfielder did play 11 games with the Braves in 1959 at age 43 in his final season of Major League Baseball. Slaughter made 10 all-star teams, and three of his prime years were spent in military service away from the diamond. He was second in the MVP voting in 1942, the last year before he left, and then was third in MVP voting in 1946, the year he came back.

Hank Aaron (1982)

1976: Milwaukee Brewers' Hank Aaron is shown during a  game in Texas at Arlington Stadium, Aug. 25, 1976. This is the away uniform.
1976: Milwaukee Brewers' Hank Aaron is shown during a game in Texas at Arlington Stadium, Aug. 25, 1976. This is the away uniform.

He finished his career as baseball's all-time home run hitter with 755. His final two years came as a Brewer in 1975-76, but he's best known for his incredible career with the Braves from 1954-65. He was an all-star every year but his first one, winning the MVP in 1957 when the Braves won the World Series. Brewers players wore a "44" patch on their jerseys in 2021 to commemorate Aaron, who died in January of that year.

More: Baseball legend Hank Aaron, who began and ended his big-league career in Milwaukee, dies at 86

More: Nine of Hank Aaron's greatest moments in a Milwaukee uniform

More: 'Thanks again, Mr. Aaron': Nearly three decades later, a once-in-a-lifetime meeting remains indelible

Eddie Mathews (1978)

The Braves third baseman was a star during his time in town from 1953-65, making nine all-star teams and helping the Braves win the 1957 World Series. He led the National League in home runs twice.

Warren Spahn (1973)

Warren Spahn, U.S. Army: The left-hander joined the Army in 1942, his rookie season with the Boston Braves. He fought in World War II's Battle of the Bulge and saw combat at the Ludendorff Bridge, where his unit was under constant enemy fire. Spahn’s foot was injured by shrapnel, and he received a Purple Heart as well as a battlefield commission as a second lieutenant. He returned to baseball after being discharged in 1946.
Warren Spahn, U.S. Army: The left-hander joined the Army in 1942, his rookie season with the Boston Braves. He fought in World War II's Battle of the Bulge and saw combat at the Ludendorff Bridge, where his unit was under constant enemy fire. Spahn’s foot was injured by shrapnel, and he received a Purple Heart as well as a battlefield commission as a second lieutenant. He returned to baseball after being discharged in 1946.

The magical left-handed pitcher was with the Braves from 1953-64, making nine all-star teams and winning the Cy Young Award in 1957, the year the Braves won the World Series. He won 20 or more games in 13 seasons.

Hugh Duffy (1945)

You have to go way back for Duffy, the Boston Braves outfielder who spent the 1901 season in the old version of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Several others have connections even if they didn't directly play for one of the Milwaukee major-league baseball franchises.

Bud Selig (2017)

Former Brewers owner and MLB commissioner emeritus Bud Selig throws out the first pitch.
Former Brewers owner and MLB commissioner emeritus Bud Selig throws out the first pitch.

Inducted as an executive, Selig was the driving force behind getting baseball back in Milwaukee after the Braves left, and he later served as baseball's commissioner from 1992-2015.

Pete Hill (2006)

Pete Hill was a star in the Negro Leagues from roughly 1889 to the mid-1920s, and he was player/manager of the Milwaukee Bears.
Pete Hill was a star in the Negro Leagues from roughly 1889 to the mid-1920s, and he was player/manager of the Milwaukee Bears.

The Milwaukee Bears didn't even finish their lone season, but they did have a player/manager who wound up in the Hall of Fame. Pete Hill, a star outfielder in his prime, was finally inducted in 2006. The native of Virginia served as player/manager for three franchises after the bulk of his playing career had ended, but he is best known for his exceptional consistency at the plate. The Brewers commemorate the Milwaukee Bears usually once per season with retro uniforms.

Bob Uecker (2003)

Bob Uecker gets in on the fun as the Brewers celebrate making the playoffs.
Bob Uecker gets in on the fun as the Brewers celebrate making the playoffs.

He's not technically an inductee but was the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award series that recognizes greatness in broadcasting. He needs no introduction for Brewers fans.

Addie Joss (1978)

The Cleveland Indians pitcher from 1902-10 threw one of the first documented perfect games. He was born in Woodland, Wisconsin, and attended school within the state before he was discovered by Connie Mack.

Dave Bancroft (1971)

A longtime member of the Phillies, the defensive standout at shortstop played 16 years in the big leagues. Before that, he played for Superior in the Minnesota-Wisconsin League in the early 1900s. The outdoorsman ultimately settled in Superior and died there in 1972 at age 81.

Burleigh Grimes (1964)

Burleigh Grimes in seen in this 1927 photo. In his only year with the New York Giants, Grimes had a record of 19-8.
Burleigh Grimes in seen in this 1927 photo. In his only year with the New York Giants, Grimes had a record of 19-8.

The great spitballer for the Dodgers later managed the franchise. He was born in Emerald, Wisconsin, and died in Clear Lake at age 92. He first played pro baseball in Eau Claire.

Max Carey (1961)

Max Carey, centerfielder on the Pittsburgh Pirates, Aug. 1, 1922.
Max Carey, centerfielder on the Pittsburgh Pirates, Aug. 1, 1922.

The 20-year veteran spent most of his playing career with the Pirates, but he eventually got into coaching and became manager of the Milwaukee Chicks in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, leading Milwaukee to the pennant in 1944.

Al Simmons (1953)

Al Simmons in 1933
Al Simmons in 1933

The outfielder and Milwaukee native spent time with seven clubs and was one of the best right-handed hitters of his era.

Kid Nichols (1949)

He won 30 or more games for seven straight seasons and at least 20 games in 10 straight years at the turn of the century with Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin.

Rube Waddell (1946)

He pitched for Milwaukee in the summer of 1900 when the Brewers were still a minor-league operation under manager Connie Mack. The left-handed pitcher later pitched for Mack with the Philadelphia Athletics, as well, when he was on a string of six seasons leading the American League in strikeouts.

JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or jradcliffe@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The Wisconsin connections to the Baseball Hall of Fame