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frank ortenzio, 1979 TCMA Japanese PBL #69

Player: Ortenzio, Frank

Card: 1979 TCMA Japanese PBL #69

Position: 1B

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Fresno, CA-born Frank Joseph Ortenzio, Jr. is a former Major League Baseball first baseman who was drafted as a 47th round selection of the Royals in the 1969 draft. He played nine games for the Kansas City Royals in 1973 and played well in his cup of coffee with a home run, 6 RBI and slashes of .333/.480/.813. However, his competition at first base was John Mayberry, who would hold the job through 1977. Frank hit .280 with a .480 slugging percentage in 9 games with the Royals.

In the minor leagues, Ortenzio was an All-Star in 1970 with the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League. He had a big year in AAA in 1977, when he was MVP of the American Association with the Denver Bears after hitting .311 with 40 homers and 126 RBIs. However, there was no room for him with the parent Montreal Expos, who already had Tony Perez and Del Unser to play first base. He was given a look by the Chicago White Sox the next spring, but was returned to the Expos when he failed to impress.

Ortenzio then played two seasons (1979 and 1980) in Japan for the Nankai Hawks. During his time with the Nankai Hawks, he was given the registered name, "Ohtenjoh", which translates into the king above heaven. You would see this on scoreboards and in the newspaper. Normally foreign players in Japan are given names in katakana, but because his last name appeared close to Japanese sounds, the team decided to give him a kanji pictograph name.

Like fellow Italian American MLB player Pete Dalena (2007), Frank is a San Joaquin High School sports Hall of Fame (2010) inductee.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


Photo from Clubhouse Conversation


This Player is not associated with any Baseball Amore Tours.

See all of Frank’s baseball cards at TCDB

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