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Former MLB Catcher, Texas Rangers Coach Dies At 54



Hector Ortiz

Hector Ortiz, a former MLB catcher and coach for the Texas Rangers, has reportedly tragically died at the age of 54. Ortiz passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Puerto Rico, Ortiz, who played for the minor league system of the Los Angeles Dodgers after being drafted by the organization in 1988, played 93 official major league games in his career.

In 2015, Hector Ortiz became a major league baseball coach for the Texas Rangers, serving as a bullpen coach, catching coordinator, and first base coach at various times during the season. Prior to coaching for the Rangers, Ortiz was a minor league coach.

He managed the Hickory Crawdads in 2009. He also managed the Arizona Rangers in 2011. The Texas Rangers put out the following statement about Ortiz’s death, saying, reports on Ortiz,

Born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, Ortiz was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 after playing college ball at Paris Junior College and Ranger College, both in Texas. His MLB career was brief, spanning 93 games between 1998 and 2002, with most of his playing days spent in the minors. However, he proved to have strong skills as a coach and joined the Texas Rangers in that capacity in 2005. 

Ortiz was a hitting coach in their minor league organization, then stepped up to manage the Hickory Crawdads in 2009. In 2011, he managed the Arizona Rangers, then became the organization’s minor league catching coordinator through 2014. 

In 2015, Ortiz was moved up to a major league coaching position, serving as the Rangers’ bullpen coach, catching coordinator, and first base coach at various times. He later worked as part of the organization’s minor league player development staff. Ortiz battled pancreatic cancer over the last three years of his life.

Rest in peace!

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