Matt Garza

Newly recalled Orioles pitcher Luis Ortiz overcame many obstacles on path to big leagues

Newly recalled Orioles pitcher Luis Ortiz overcame many obstacles on path to big leagues

Long before Luis Ortiz was a first-round draft pick, he made a promise to his great-grandfather.

Santiago Esquivel, the man who essentially raised Ortiz, lay in his casket before he was to be buried, and Ortiz signed his first baseball, placed it in the coffin and told him that one day he would make the major leagues.

“I wasn’t even on the radar yet,” Ortiz said. “I was just playing baseball and having fun and going to all these [showcase] events. … It was him who helped me push. … But the promise I made to him, it came true. I’m here now. … I’ve had a long journey, going from team to team to team. … The promise I made to my great grandfather, I completed it.”

At the...

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