LOCAL NEWS

Former Salt Lake Buzz slugger gets a call from the hall

Jan 25, 2022, 7:26 PM | Updated: Jan 26, 2022, 3:38 pm
Teammates high five Buzz hitter David Ortiz after his home run during game against Vancouver on  Ju...
Teammates high five Buzz hitter David Ortiz after his home run during game against Vancouver on June 6, 1999 (Gary McKellar / Deseret News)
(Gary McKellar / Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Back in the day —May 13, 1999, to be exact — the Minnesota Twins came to town and defeated the Salt Lake Buzz 10-9 in an exhibition game.

At that time, nearly six weeks into the season, the major league team had yet to promote any players from the Triple-A ranks.

Moody Minnesota manager Tom Kelly explained why.

David Ortiz with the Salt Lake Buzz (File -- Gary McKellar / Deseret News)

“There hasn’t been any movement because there’s nobody at Triple-A doing any good, or that good where we’d think about moving somebody,” Kelly said. “Once somebody wants to step up over here, play a little bit and show that they can play consistent ball with some pizzazz, then maybe we’ll move somebody.”

First baseman/designated hitter David Ortiz made quite a case that season. He earned Pacific Coast League all-star recognition while leading the league with 110 runs batted in. The Salt Lake slugger finished with a .590 hitting percentage, collecting 35 doubles and 30 home runs over 130 games with the Buzz. He led the PCL in runs batted in with 110, hit 30 home runs and 35 doubles and had a hitting percentage of .590. His play earned him another trip to Minnesota, where he hopes to capitalize on his opportunity.

“I thought I was going to get called up earlier,” Ortiz said at the time. “But I’m just going to go there and do my best … I’m so glad to play for the fans in Salt Lake City. They make me feel like (I can) go up there (Minnesota) and play hard.”

Although Ortiz saw limited action with the Twins that year (10 at-bats in 20 games), he stepped up in 2000 and became more of a regular fixture in the big leagues.

Ortiz wound up playing 20 seasons in the majors, knocking in 1,768 runs with 541 homers over stints with the Twins and Boston Red Sox. He was a 10-time all-star.

On Tuesday, “Big Papi” as he is known, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the lone candidate to receive the required 75% approval by the baseball writers —appearing on 77.9% of the ballots.

Ortiz played in 151 games for Salt Lake from 1997-99. He hit 36 homers and drove in 126 runs for the Buzz.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Credit card skimming device...
Cary Schwanitz

Federal judge sentences foreign national in $200,000 skimming scheme

A federal judge sentenced Yofre Napoleon Almonte, 49, to prison after he plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
20 hours ago
Photo of 17-year-old Maddie Anderson...
Ayanna Likens

17-year-old fighting for her life after a suspected drunk driver hits her car

A 17-year-old girl is in an intensive care unit after a suspected impaired driver smashed into her car Sunday night.
20 hours ago
Luke Bowman, chief pilot for the Utah Department of Public Safety's Aero Bureau, describes Thursday...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Pilot recounts rescue of ‘very fortunate’ helicopter crew that crashed in La Sal Mountains

The pilot who helped rescue three crew members in a La Sal Mountains helicopter crash on Thursday says the group is lucky the wreckage didn't slide down the mountainside.
20 hours ago
Theives often hit Heebeegeebees comic stor...
Mike Anderson

Retail theft takes a hard toll on small local businesses

Inflation isn't the only force behind rising prices as the former CEOs of Walmart and Home Depot say retail theft is growing at epidemic levels.
20 hours ago
The new Utah State Prison is pictured in Salt Lake City on Oct. 21, 2021. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret N...
Madison Swenson

Utah Dept. of Health and Human Services to take over health care in state’s prison system

The Utah Department of Corrections announced Friday that health care in the state's prison system will be controlled by the Department of Health and Human Services beginning July 1, 2023.
20 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Utah Department of Public Safety reports 96 hate crimes in 2021

There were 96 total hate crimes in Utah in 2021. Here's the groups they targeted.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Former Salt Lake Buzz slugger gets a call from the hall