Ordóñez with the New York Mets on May 30, 1999.
January 11, 1971 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 1, 1996 for the New York Mets|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 19, 2004 for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||287|
|Career highlights and awards|
Reynaldo Ordóñez Pereira (born January 11, 1971) is a former professional baseball shortstop. He played all or part of nine seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Mets, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Chicago Cubs.
In 1993, in Buffalo, New York, Ordóñez became the second Cuban baseball player in history to defect to the United States. Ordóñez was a promising young player for the Havana Industriales club in Cuba at the time. In March, 2013, Ordóñez finally traveled back to Cuba 20 years after defecting from there and was given a hero's welcome. This became possible under the new Cuban travel policy which took effect from January, 2013. The law eliminated restrictions on visiting the island.
Before signing with a major league team, Ordóñez played part of the 1993 season with the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League. In 15 games with the Saints, he batted .283. He signed with the Mets as a free agent after the season, on October 29, 1993.
Ordóñez joined the Single-A St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League and later moved up to Double-A seeing playing time with the Eastern League's Binghamton Mets as well in 1994. While in the minors, he was constantly compared to future hall-of-fame shortstop Ozzie Smith. Ordóñez made his major league debut in 1996. On opening day in 1996, Ozzie Smith and the Cardinals faced the Mets in Ordóñez's major league debut. After Ordóñez's stunning relay throw to home plate from his knees during his first major league game, Smith responded "I can definitely say he is the second-coming of me." Ordóñez went on to win three consecutive Gold Glove Awards for his outstanding defensive play with the Mets. During the 1999 and 2000 seasons, Ordóñez set a Major League record for shortstops by playing 101 consecutive games without committing a fielding error. Furthermore, in 1999, Ordóñez committed only four errors while posting a .994 fielding percentage, a performance that one could argue may be the best defensive season ever by a Major League shortstop.1
Though he rarely struck out and was capable of laying down sacrifice bunts, he was not a particularly effective hitter. Besides a career batting average of just .246, he was not a good base stealer, drew few walks and had almost no power. His lifetime OPS of .599 was almost 200 points lower than the Major League average (.782 in 2000, for example).2
Ordóñez's defensive play never truly recovered after fracturing his left arm on May 29, 2000, when attempting to tag the Los Angeles Dodgers' F.P. Santangelo out at second base, an injury that prevented the perennial Gold Glove contender from playing in the 2000 World Series (the Subway Series) against the New York Yankees. Given that he offered little offensively, with his defense diminished, his value as a player became drastically reduced. Ordóñez was taunted by unhappy Mets fans throughout the 2002 season, particularly because the much-heralded double play combination of him and Roberto Alomar failed to produce. In a year-end interview, Ordóñez lashed out, calling the Mets fans "too stupid".3
In 2004, incoming rookie Khalil Greene beat out Ordóñez for the position of shortstop with the San Diego Padres during spring training.4 He was unsure at the time whether he would ever play Major League Baseball again, and in fact did not play for any MLB organization during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
On November 14, 2006, Ordóñez was signed to a minor league contract by the Seattle Mariners.5 On April 1, 2007, Ordóñez was reassigned to the Mariners minor league camp, but stated to the Seattle Times newspaper that at the age of 35, he was "too old for that." According to reports, Ordóñez was originally included on the Mariners final 25-man roster, but an 11th hour trade with the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Jason Ellison led to his reassignment. Ordóñez hoped to catch on with another major league franchise, but never did.
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- Tom Scocca (1999-11-17). 8 Upper by Tom Scocca: Fools' Gold. Citypaper.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-09.
- 2012 MLB Team Batting Stats – Major League Baseball – ESPN. Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-09.
- Ordonez angry with fans, wants out after 2003. Static.espn.go.com (2002-09-28). Retrieved on 2012-10-09.
- Grounding out to Greene By Michael Huang.
- http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/ , Nov 14, 2006.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Cuban Baseball Career statistics
- 2004 daily statistics at ESPN
- Rey Ordóñez Acrobat In Spikes
- Rey Ordóñez Returns To Cuba