By Morgan Cole

As the holiday season approaches, charities’ demand for donations and involvement increases—this year even more so because of the pandemic.

Founded by 12-year MLB pitcher Russ Ortiz, Mesa’s 2GG Apparel is a golf shop that donates 100% of its proceeds to charity.

Ortiz began selling golf clothing in 2013. The business was originally called “2nd Guy Golf,” but it was later shortened to 2GG.

Ortiz says the name comes from the golf term “mulligan.” Normally when someone takes a mulligan, they do better the second time. Therefore, a golfer who takes a mulligan might say “that second guy is always better.”

Ortiz’s passion for charity started when he was in the minor leagues. He says one of his coaches advised them to find charities and organizations to work with in the minor or Major League teams’ cities.

“I really took that to heart,” Ortiz says.

Before his second season in the Major League, Ortiz says he did just that. He found this in the YMCA.

“It allowed me to see how much of an impact people could make on other people,” Ortiz says.

He continued his involvement with organizations throughout his years in the MLB.

Ortiz has been passionate about golf as his playtime increased in the Major League.

“Baseball is my passion. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do,” he says. “Now that that was over, whatever I got into after that I wanted to make sure that I was still passionate about it and that it was going to be something that I really loved.”

The idea to combine these two passions came from looking in his closet and realizing that all of his golf clothes looked the same. He thought it’d be fun to come up with new designs.

Ortiz says he knew he wanted to donate a certain percentage of the profit to charity, but after some thought, he decided to donate all proceeds to charity.

“Why not just give everything away and make a bigger impact?” Ortiz says rhetorically.

The store has donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Folds of Honor, Blue Star Mothers, Veteran Golfers Association and Feed My Starving Children, the latter of which is a Christian nonprofit that aims to feed youth around the world.

“The thing I wanted to do is to try to make as big of an impact as we could to as many people as we could,” Ortiz says.

The mission statement on the 2GG Apparel website is to give, which is what the holiday season is all about.

“We have a saying that when you buy, you give,” Ortiz says.

2GG Apparel, 5852 E. McKellips Road, Suite 107, Mesa, 1.888.818.6826, 2ggapparel.com.

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