From BR Bullpen
Ricardo Duran Ortiz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 213 lb.
Rich Duran began his pro baseball career with the Milwaukee Brewers' Stockton Ports farm club in 1979. He hit .328, one of the top marks in the California League and was quickly promoted to AA. After not playing in 1980 Duran returned to the California League the next year and was relatively unimpressive.
In 1982 Duran signed with the Ciudad Juarez Indians and hit .279/~.371/.397 as a 1B for the Mexican League team. Back in the Liga in '83, Rich took his game to another level, batting .377/~.498/.553 for Juarez to win a batting title.
The Kintetsu Buffaloes were impressed by Duran's 1983 campaign and signed him. He failed to make contact regularly in Japan, hitting .188/.317/.507 with 7 homers in just 69 AB. Duran complained about the intensive Japanese training and said he couldn't manage it. He left the team, following the departure of another American, Don Money. Earlier in the year Jim Tracy had deserted his club, the Taiyo Whales. Three American athletes bailing out on their teams within the span of two months sent shockwaves through Japanese baseball and Japanese society, creating an impression of spoiled, greedy and wimpy Americans.
Sources: "The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics" by Pedro Treto Cisneros, japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland and "You Gotta Have Wa" by Robert Whiting