Alfredo Ortiz Uzcanga (El Zurdo de Oro, Lefty)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 8", Weight 150 lb.
Like the other top two pitchers in Mexican League history in wins (Ramon Arano and Angel Moreno) Alfredo Ortiz had a small frame but a long career. He began with the Leon Diablos Rojos in the Mexican Center League, going 8-8 with a 3.20 ERA as a 16-year-old. The next year he was 8-13 with a 3.72 ERA for Leon. In 1962 Ortiz pitched for the Fresnillo Rojos, posting a 19-10 record and a 5.02 ERA; he hit .339. He led the Mexican Center League in wins.
In 1963 Ortiz began a 15-year run with the Mexico City Red Devils, going 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA. He entered the regular rotation at age 20 in 1964 and with Arano helped the Red Devils to the title. Ortiz went 15-6 with a 3.71 ERA. He slipped to 5-10 with a 5.12 ERA the next year, but bounced back with a 17-12 season in 1966, in which he had a 3.00 ERA and hurled 5 shutouts. He did even better in 1967 with a 16-9 record and 2.51 ERA and completed 13 of 24 starts. He was tied for second in the Liga in wins and second in ERA (trailing Juan Suby, the closest he would come to an ERA title. In 1968 Alfredo was just 11-12 with a 3.34 ERA as the Red Devils won another pennant. He also appeared briefly in the Appalachian League, going 0-1 for the Covington Astros. He had another rebound season, going 23-9 with a 2.26 ERA in 1969, completing 27 of 33 games and hurling a career-high 255 innings. He led the league in hits allowed (257) but also in wins and was third in ERA. It was his only 20-win season. He did not pitch nearly as much the next year, as he was 10-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 115 innings. Ortiz was 18-12, 2.72 in 1971 (tied for third in wins) and 15-13, 3.72 in 1972. Ortiz played some first base in Mexico and would hit a competent .246/~.330/.324 in the Liga.
In 1973 and 1974 Mexico City won titles once more, without Arano to provide aid on the mound. Ortiz went 12-8 with a 2.98 ERA in '73 and 17-9 with a 2.64 in '74. In '74 he tied for second in the Liga in wins. Alfredo went 15-11 with a 3.41 ERA in 1975 and then slipped to 6-11 with a 3.51 ERA in 1976. His career with the Red Devils ended with a 9-7, 2.47 season in 1977. Alfredo had won 191 wins for Mexico City.
1978 brought Ortiz to Tabasco where he went just 2-13 despite a 2.77 ERA. He moved to the Nuevo Laredo Owls the next season and went 16-10 with a 2.44 ERA in his 9th and final 15-win season in the Liga. He returned to Tabasco for three more years, including some time as a player-manager. After a 3-10, 3.50 line in 1980, Alfredo went 12-11 with a 2.08 ERA in '81, completing 18 of 25 games. He was 9-11 with a 2.84 ERA in 1982 then at age 39 returned to the Red Devils and reached 200 victories with that club after a 9-7, 3.24 season. In 1984 he went 10-7 with a 3.70 ERA for Mexico City and the Veracruz Eagle. With Veracruz and Cordoba in 1985 he fell to 2-7 with a 5.35 ERA as he was 41 years old and fading. In 1986 he made 10 appearances and went 1-1 with a 4.62 ERA, then pitched 3 games for the 1987 Puebla Black Angels, allowing 8 runs and 13 hits in 4 and a third innings to finish his career. Overall in the Liga Ortiz had gone 255-210 with a 3.13 ERA. As of 2000 he was tied for second in seasons pitched (25), 9th in outings (620), second in starts (535, trailing Arano), innings (3,841 1/3, trailing Arano), wins (255, trailing Arano), losses (210, trailing Arano) and complete games (256, trailing Arano). He was 5th with 51 shutouts and 8th with 1,824 strikeouts. A superb control specialist (just 830 walks) he did not rank in the top 25 in walks, wild pitchers or hit batsmen despite being second in most longevity categories. He also was not in the top 20 in homers surrendered. He has since fallen to third in wins and perhaps other categories behind Moreno.
Overall Ortiz won 287 games in the minor leagues. He added another 104 wins in the Mexican Pacific League and set the all-time LMP record with 23 strikeouts in a 13-inning game in January 1965. He was on the first Mexican team in a Caribbean Series, going 0-1 in the 1971 Caribbean Series. In 1976-1977 he managed the Mazatlan Venados to the LMP title and then the 1977 Caribbean Series. He also managed in the Mexican League, with Tabasco, Cordoba, Veracruz, the Mexico City Tigers and Aguascalientes.
As of 2005 Ortiz, at age 61, was still playing amateur baseball regularly in Mexico City, pitching and playing first base and the outfield.
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|1978||Plataneros de Tabasco||Mexican League||--||--||replaced by Von Joshua|
|1985||Cafeteros de Córdoba||Mexican League||4th||Lost in 1std round||replaced Alberto Joachin|
|1986||Rojos del Águila de Veracruz||Mexican League||--||--||replaced Francisco Rodriguez / replaced by Ramon Arano|
|1987||Tigres de México||Mexican League||3rd||Lost in 2nd round||replaced Roberto Mendez|
|1988||Tigres de México||Mexican League||72-56||4th||Lost in 1st round|
|1989||Tigres de México||Mexican League||--||--||replaced by Domingo Rivera|
|1990||Rieleros de Aguascalientes||Mexican League||11th||replaced Carlos Paz|
|1991||Rieleros de Aguascalientes||Mexican League||--||--||replaced by Alfredo Rios|
|1993||Piratas de Campeche||Mexican League||--||--||replaced by Javier Martinez|
|1996||Guerreros de Oaxaca||Mexican League||46-64||14th|
Sources: Viva Beisbol newsletter by Bruce Baskin, "The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics" by Pedro Treto Cisneros