Luis Ortiz stepped into the shadow of the Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston 25 years ago to make his Major League debut with the Red Sox.
Ortiz’s career as a player, shortened by injuries and a playing field that wasn’t always level, never blossomed. In an era when steroids abounded, Ortiz refused to take shortcuts to success.
Tuesday night (Oct. 23), Ortiz stepped onto the field in Fenway Park once more, this time as the assistant hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers — his childhood dream of making it to the World Series finally realized. The Dodgers lost 8-4 in the opening game of the series. They play again tonight.
Ortiz was a member of the Texas Rangers organization that made the World Series in 2010 and 2011, and he earned a World Series ring then. But this time he’s actually in the dugout and in uniform as the Dodgers and Red Sox square off in the Fall Classic.
“You play professionally, and you think you’re going to play in the big leagues and then eventually you’re going to go to the World Series,” Ortiz said. “And 25 years later, this is the first time that really, really happens.”
A product of Union University, affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, the native of the Dominican Republic said he grew up in a predominantly Catholic environment. But it was at Union, when he started going to chapel and encountering people with a more vibrant Christian faith, that he began to grow in his relationship with the Lord.
It wasn’t an instant transformation, but more of a process.
“My wife helped me with that, and my friends and Union, and examples of some of the godly men who I was exposed to there,” Ortiz said. “And since then I try to live it every day.”
Ortiz and his wife Susan, whom he met at Union, have been members of Colleyville Presbyterian Church in Colleyville, Texas, for more than two decades.
Source: Baptist Press