Friday, April 28, 2006

Phil Ortega

Looking to capitalize on Southern California’s budding Hispanic market, the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization claimed that Filomeno Coronada “Phil” Ortega was of Mexican descent.

But, much to the chagrin of the Dodgers, the right-handed fireballer from Arizona insisted that he was a Yaqui Indian.

He told the press that he didn’t even speak a word of Spanish.

Nicknamed “Chief” and “Kemo” by teammates during the days of political incorrectness, Ortega was signed by Los Angeles in 1959 for a reported $70,000 bonus.

But, it was up and down for Ortega until 1964 when he finally earned a regular spot on the Dodgers’ starting rotation. In 25 starts, he was 7-9 with a 4.00 ERA, striking out 107 batters in 157.1 innings.

After the season, Ortega was traded to the Washington Senators as part of a seven-player deal that brought Claude Osteen to Los Angeles. Ortega went onto pitch in the Nation's Capital for four years before finishing out his career with the California Angels in 1969.


At 10:54 PM, Blogger Avi Solomon said...

does anyone know if he is alive and where he lives?

At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm of Yaqui descent and sorry to all of those self-hating Yoremes out there YAQUIS ARE MEXICAN! We are an indigenous tribe of Sonora Mexico that also had a few of our people in Arizona. You can't get any more Mexican than a Mexican "Indio" Arriba El NORTE! QUE VIVAN LOS CHICANOS! LOS YAQUIS! Y TODA MI RAZA MEXICANA CABRONES!

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, he is alive....I'm his cousin....last year he was at a Dodger vs Angels game, which was going to be his last visit to Los Angeles.

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Geoffrey Madison said...

Y was that his last trip to Los Angeles? Is he in poor health?
My thoughts and prayers r with him and his family.


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