Russ Ortiz to be honored at 1 p.m. game on Friday

May 14, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - MLB pitcher Russ Ortiz will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game One of a doubleheader against Kennesaw State at 1 p.m. on Friday at John Sessions Stadium, due to his contributions to the JU baseball program.

Ortiz will be honored by JU athletics with a plaque to honor the significant donation he made to create the brick walkway entering Sessions Stadium. Ortiz will also be joined by Montez's youngest son and godchild, Adam, during first pitch ceremonies.

"We are extremely grateful for the contributions that Russ has made to our program since Associate Head Coach Tim Montez was hired here," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "It is not often that a person contributes to a program that he didn't graduate or play for and this speaks volumes about the relationship Russ and Tim have. I know that Tim has known Russ since he was in high school, and that Russ and his wife Stacy are the godparents to Tim's youngest son, Adam. It is because of contributions like this that JU can have one of the best facilities in the Atlantic Sun Conference."

The 10-year major leaguer, who was recently with the San Francisco Giants in 2007 and is currently rehabbing after having elbow surgery this past offseason, was coached by JU associate head coach Tim Montez from 1990-93 when they were both at Montclair Prep High School in Southern California. Ortiz, who also had stints with the Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles, was an All-Star with the Braves after going 21-7 during the 2003 season.

JU will continue honoring former players during its 50th Anniversary week at Sessions Stadium. All former Dolphin players will be honored on the scoreboard during the games against Kennesaw State and Roger Strickland will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game Two of the doubleheader. Former players will also be part of a 6 p.m. cookout and compete in a Home Run Derby following the conclusion of the series on Friday night.