Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz scores on a sacrifice fly by Stephen Drew to tie the game in the fifth inning during Game 4 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, left, was unable to receive the throw from left fielder Matt Holliday on the play. (AP Photo/The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee)
Kragthorpe: David Ortiz gives Salt Lake a Series distinction
MLB » Boston’s Napoli, Lackey also have minors connections.
First Published Oct 31 2013 08:26 am • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:37 pm

The last time John Lackey was the winning pitcher in a World Series-clinching game, he famously declared, "This is a long way from Salt Lake."

Lackey is even further removed from his days with Salt Lake City’s Triple-A team now, but the Buzz/Stingers/Bees franchise can claim a strong connection to the 2013 champion Boston Red Sox — thanks to Lackey, Mike Napoli and World Series MVP David Ortiz.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Mix in Red Sox first base coach Arnie Beyeler, who’s from Moab, and this is a triumph for baseball in Utah.

And after winning three titles in 10 seasons, the Sox obviously have overcome the longtime curse that once befell St. George native Bruce Hurst. The former Boston pitcher already was voted as the 1986 Series MVP in the late stages of Game 6, only to have the New York Mets take advantage of mistakes by Bill Buckner and others to win that game and go on to claim the championship.

Lackey made sure that Ortiz’s seemingly guaranteed award stayed in his teammate’s possession. He pitched brilliantly in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory in Game 6 against St. Louis, just as he did as a rookie in 2002 for the Los Angeles Angels vs. San Francisco.

Ortiz played parts of three seasons (including all of 1999) for the Buzz, who then were affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. He’s the first Series MVP ever to have played for Salt Lake City’s minor-league team.

The only other such honorees with significant Utah ties include former BYU pitcher Jack Morris with Minnesota in 1991 and Frank Robinson with Baltimore in 1966. Robinson played a full season in Ogden as a 17-year-old rookie in 1953 in the Cincinnati Reds system.

Ortiz went 11 for 16 at the plate in the Series, with two home runs, six RBIs, seven runs and eight walks. This past summer, observing the 20th season of Triple-A baseball’s return to Salt Lake City, The Tribune picked Ortiz as the designated hitter on the Buzz/Stingers/Bees all-time team — based partly on what he’s gone on to do in the major leagues, winning three world championships and becoming the career hits leader among DHs.

Lackey was promoted to the Angels in July of the 2002 season after an outstanding performance with the Stingers. He was followed by two other former Salt Lake pitchers, Brendan Donnelly and Francisco Rodriguez, on the mound in that Game 7 victory over the Giants.

Napoli played in 21 games as a catcher for Salt Lake in 2006 on his way to the Angels. In the tradition of Hurst, he nearly became the Series MVP for Texas in 2011. But the Rangers ended up losing to St. Louis in seven games, costing him the award.


story continues below
story continues below

Napoli was only 2 for 13 at the plate in the 2013 Series, but he drove in four runs.

The only thing that he could have driven home Utah’s connection to this Red Sox victory even more is if Game 6 had ended with a groundout. That happened for Boston in 2004 when former Salt Lake first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz caught the final throw of the Series at first base — where Napoli was playing Wednesday.

Then again, considering the controversy that ensued when Mientkiewicz kept that baseball, it’s probably just as well that Matt Carpenter struck out swinging.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.