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updated: 8/6/2013 3:35 PM

Ex-Sox Ordonez to run for mayor in Venezuela

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  • Former MLB player Magglio Ordonez, seen here during his retirement ceremony at Comerica Park last year, wants to run for mayor of an oil community in Venezuela.

      Former MLB player Magglio Ordonez, seen here during his retirement ceremony at Comerica Park last year, wants to run for mayor of an oil community in Venezuela.
    Associated Press/2012 file

 
By Anatoly Kurmanaev
Bloomberg News Service

Magglio Ordonez, a six-time Major League Baseball all-star outfielder with the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers, will run for mayor of a Venezuelan oil town in the socialist party of the late President Hugo Chavez.

"We invite our major leaguer, Magglio Ordonez, to hit a grand slam in Puerto La Cruz," Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, announced on state television Monday.

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Ordonez, a 39-year-old former outfielder, hit 294 home runs during 15 seasons with the White Sox and Tigers, and won the American League's batting title with Detroit in 2007. He moved to Puerto La Cruz in his native Venezuela after retiring in 2011. The city of about 500,000 is 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of Caracas.

Ordonez, who earned about $133 million over his professional career, according to baseball-reference.com, supported Chavez's "21st Century Socialism." In 2009, he told Venezuelans in political ads that "the best of the revolution is yet to come."

During his 14 years in power, Chavez, a former paratrooper, tapped the world's biggest oil reserves to cut Venezuela's poverty rate to 29.5 percent in 2011 from 48.6 percent in 2002, according to the United Nations. His term was also marked by falling oil production, declining foreign currency reserves and one of the fastest inflation rates in the world. He died from cancer in March.

Puerto La Cruz is currently run by Stalin Jose Fuentes of the ruling United Socialist Party.

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