By Brady Busha
Anthony Ortiz just finished his first season with the Lawrence University Baseball team. Ortiz finished the season with a .235 average, five doubles, 10 RBIs and a home run.
Where are you from? What drew you to Lawrence?
I am from Bridgeview, Ill. It’s a southwestern suburb of Chicago. I built a good relationship with Carin Smith, one of the admissions counselors. She just introduced me to the admissions process. Like, we were texting on a regular basis. Baseball was a huge part of it, too. Also, academically, it’s a strong school.
How did you first get into baseball? What do you like most about it?
My family is a big baseball family. My dad, uncles — they all played it. I started playing tee-ball at three or four years old. We always played wiffle ball in the backyard and would run bases. It was something that we always bonded over, and I grew up loving it. My favorite part is the feeling when I play. Just forgetting about everything else. My dad always said, “You can put all your problems in a briefcase and set it down before you walk onto the field, and then when you walk off, it’ll still be there for you.”
What did you bring to the team this season? What do you hope to bring next season?
I brought a positive attitude and a little humor to the team this year. Also, I am a reliable teammate with a good work ethic. And next year, I’ll be bringing those qualities back too.
What has your athletic career here at Lawrence taught you about being academically successful?
Everyone says this, but time management is huge. You don’t have a lot of time to mess around, but you still find time to have fun. Especially on the weekends, you think you have a lot of time, but you really have to get your stuff together because if you don’t you’re going to fall behind.
How have your teammates helped you with your first year as a collegiate athlete?
A lot of guys took me under their wing in terms of lifting. One of the seniors, Jake Gordon — his work ethic is unbelievable — took me through his workouts in the offseason and helped me be stronger. [Gordon] and Travis Weber both have great work ethics, and I think they instilled that in me. Atley Gay was also a guy I looked up to in terms of presenting yourself, the kind of attitude you have to have, being a leader, just being a successful collegiate athlete.
If you had to live in a non-residence hall campus building which one would it be?
I feel like a lot of people would say Warch, but I would go with Steitz! I love going and writing stuff on the dry erase boards, relaxing on the couches. And if I get bored, I could go down to the laboratory and start blowing stuff up, making random reactions happen.