Ordóñez with the New York Mets
|Born: January 11, 1971|
|April 1, 1996, for the New York Mets|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 19, 2004, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||287|
|Career highlights and awards|
Reynaldo Ordóñez Pereira (born January 11, 1971) is a former professional baseball shortstop. He played nine seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Mets, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Chicago Cubs.
Ordóñez defected from Cuba to the United States at the 1993 Summer Universiade in Buffalo, New York. Ordóñez was a promising young player for the Havana Industriales club in Cuba at the time. In March 2013, Ordóñez finally traveled back to Cuba 20 years after defecting, and was given a hero's welcome.
St. Paul Saints
Before signing with a major league team, Ordóñez played part of the 1993 season with the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League. In 15 games with the Saints, he batted .283. He signed with the Mets as a free agent after the season, on October 29, 1993, and retired from baseball in 2007 after several years of injury-related absence from the majors.
New York Mets
Ordóñez joined the Single-A St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League and later moved up to Double-A seeing playing time with the Eastern League's Binghamton Mets as well in 1994. Ordóñez made his major league debut in 1996. Ordóñez went on to win three consecutive Gold Glove Awards for his outstanding defensive play with the Mets. During the 1999 and 2000 seasons, Ordóñez set a Major League record for shortstops by playing 101 consecutive games without committing a fielding error. Furthermore, in 1999, Ordóñez committed only four errors while posting a .994 fielding percentage. It is arguably the best defensive single-season performance ever by a Major League shortstop based on the number of errors. Though he rarely struck out and was capable of laying down sacrifice bunts, he was not a particularly effective hitter. Besides a career batting average of just .246, he was not a good base stealer, drew few walks and had almost no power. His lifetime OPS of .599 was almost 200 points lower than the Major League average (.782 in 2000, for example).
Ordóñez's defensive play never truly recovered after fracturing his left arm on May 29, 2000, when attempting to tag the Los Angeles Dodgers' F.P. Santangelo out at second base, an injury that prevented the three-time Gold Glove winner from playing in the 2000 World Series (the Subway Series) against the New York Yankees. Given that he offered little offensively, with his defense diminished, his value as a player became drastically reduced. Ordóñez was taunted by unhappy Mets fans throughout the 2002 season, particularly because the much-heralded double play combination of him and Roberto Alomar failed to produce.
Devil Rays and Cubs
On December 15, 2002, Ordóñez was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for two minor league players to be named later, along with $4.25 million to cover his salary. Ordóñez missed most of the 2003 season due to injuries and played briefly for the Chicago Cubs before being given his release.
San Diego Padres
In 2004, incoming rookie Khalil Greene beat out Ordóñez for the position of shortstop with the San Diego Padres during spring training. He was unsure at the time whether he would ever play Major League Baseball again, and in fact did not play for any MLB organization during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
On November 14, 2006, Ordóñez was signed to a minor league contract by the Seattle Mariners. On April 1, 2007, Ordóñez was reassigned to the Mariners minor league camp, but stated to the Seattle Times newspaper that at the age of 35, he was "too old for that." According to reports, Ordóñez was originally included on the Mariners final 25-man roster, but an 11th hour trade with the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Jason Ellison led to his reassignment. Ordóñez hoped to catch on with another Major League franchise, but never did.
- "Long way from Shea for former Mets star Ordonez". ESPN.com. ESPN. Associated Press. February 20, 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- "Cuba Travel: Baseball Star Rey Ordonez Allowed To Return Home Thanks To Obama Travel Policies". HuffPost. March 20, 2013.
- 2012 MLB Team Batting Stats – Major League Baseball – ESPN. Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-09.
- Chass, Murray (December 16, 2002). "BASEBALL; With Sigh of Relief, Mets Trade Ordóñez". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
- Rubin, Roger (December 16, 2002). "WITH TRADE, THEY CALL HIM DEVIL REY Ordonez out; Mets seek Neagle in 3-way". New York Daily News. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
- Grounding out to Greene Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine By Michael Huang.
- "SS Ordonez among 9 signed by M's to minor league deals". seattletimes.com. November 14, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2015.