Note: This page discusses 1940s outfielder Roberto Ortiz. For the umpire of the same name, click here.
Roberto Gonzalo Ortiz Nunez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
- Debut September 6, 1941
- Final Game September 2, 1950
- Born June 30, 1915 in Camaguey, Cuba
- Died September 15, 1971 in Miami, FL USA
Brother of Baby Ortiz, Roberto Ortiz, born in Cuba, played six seasons in the big leagues, mostly for the Washington Senators as a right fielder. He took a break from 1945 to 1948, playing in Mexico in the summer league and leading that league all four years in home runs.
He was on the Cuban national team roster for the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games but did not get into a game. Also a star in Cuba, leading the 1943-44 winter league there with a .337 batting average. He was named to the all-star team there along with Martin Dihigo.
The site cubanball.com says that in 1945 Ortiz punched out an umpire.
The book Baseball Goes to War indicates that Tom Turner once started an altercation with Mike Guerra, whereupon Ortiz, who was much bigger than Guerra, said "you fight me". According to the book, the two went at it without being interrupted. Ortiz kicked Turner in the groin, and on his part suffered a broken thumb.
The book Baseball in Chattanooga states that Ortiz once hit .360 for Chattanooga, and when he died, thousands came to his funeral in Miami, FL. The book also says a movie (pre-Fidel Castro) was made about Ortiz's life.