MEMPHIS, Tenn. - 1/14/2004 - Luis Ortiz, a former NAIA All-American at Union University, has signed a minor league contract with the Memphis Redbirds. The Redbirds are the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ortiz, 33, played baseball for the Union Bulldogs from 1989-1991 before being drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the eighth round. After Boston, Ortiz was involved in a trade that sent him to the Texas Rangers. Ortiz spent time in the majors with both Boston (1993-1994) and Texas (1995-1996). While in Boston, Ortiz recorded his first major league hit in his second major league at bat. In Texas, Ortiz again earned the spotlight as he was named the Player of the Game during an ESPN Game of the Week broadcast. Since then, Ortiz has been with four teams including the Diamondbacks, Royals, Expos, and now the Cardinals. Last season, Ortiz played in Edmonton, the Triple-A affiliate of the Montreal Expos, where he batted .305 with 10 homeruns, and 39 RBI in 59 games.
While at Union, Ortiz set numerous records not only at Union but in the NAIA. Ortiz holds the NAIA record for slugging percentage in a season (.991) set back in 1991. Union records held by Ortiz are slugging percentage (.991), homeruns in a season (26), homeruns in a career (58), and homeruns in a game (3). In his final season with Union in 1991, he was named an NAIA All-American. His career batting average for his career at Union was .429. He ranked first in the nation in homeruns per game, second in RBI per game, and second in batting average.
In addition to continuing his baseball career, Ortiz has also come to the completion of his degree from Union University. Ortiz is in class this January at Union and looks to complete his degree and graduate with a major in Physical Education at the end of the month.
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