Jose de Jesus Ortiz, who has covered Major League Baseball for most of the last two decades, has been hired as a sports columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Ortiz, 44, has spent the last 15 years at the Houston Chronicle, where he was the lead Astros beat writer from 2001 through 2009. He became the Chronicle’s international soccer and Major League Soccer writer in 2010 before returning to the Astros’ beat in late 2012. Ortiz also is a past president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“Baseball is my love and soccer is my passion,” said Ortiz, who led the Chronicle’s hockey coverage at the Torino Winter Olympics. “When I’m not covering baseball, I can usually be found at a soccer field or softball diamond watching my three daughters play.”
Since beginning his career at his hometown Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram in 1995, Ortiz has covered a dozen World Series, 10 MLB All-Star Games, the Super Bowl, the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, multiple Major League Soccer Cups, FIFA World Cup qualifiers and dozens of international soccer matches. The son of Mexican immigrants who is fluent in Spanish, Ortiz has traveled the world to write baseball features from Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
“I feel blessed to now have the opportunity to write columns in America’s top baseball town for one of the most knowledgeable baseball fan bases in America,” Ortiz said. “I’ve always enjoyed the passion St. Louis fans have for their Cardinals and sports in general.
“I’m also quite aware of the city’s great soccer tradition because former U.S. national team midfielder Brad Davis and his fellow St. Louis Scott Gallagher alumni Will Bruin and Steve Ralston often raved to me about the area’s strong soccer culture.
“I also have tremendous appreciation for The Post-Dispatch’s rich history of great sports columnists and I hope I can live up to the legacies they’ve established.”
Ortiz will join the Post-Dispatch on April 4.