Sunday, July 19, 2015

Two Young Latino Pitchers Dominate the Opposition on July 19, 1960

On This Day in Baseball History July 19, 1960: A pair of young Latino pitchers throw complete game 1-hitters, both losing their no-hit bids in the eighth inning.

25-year old Cuban Pedro Ramos of the Washington Senators defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-0 at Detroit's Navin Field by hurling a 1-hit, 9-strikeout, 4-walk game that was disrupted by Rocky Colavito's eighth inning leadoff single that just got by Senators' shortstop Jose Valdivielso.

Ramos' gem was one of the only bright spots of the 1960 season for the Cuban hurler. Ramos was on track to lead the American League in losses for a third year in a row. Ramos would go 14-18 in 1958, 13-19 in 1959, 11-18 in 1960 and he would also add another consecutive league leading 11-20 record in 1961. Ramos would finish his 15-year career with a 117-160 record.

Here is the boxscore for Pedro Ramos' 1-hit complete game victory against the Detroit Tigers from the July 20, 1960 edition of the New York Times:

For Further Reading:

As I posted on my BaseballSisco blog, Juan Marichal made his career debut with a 1-hit, 12-strikeout, 1-walk complete game 2-0 gem against the Philadelphia Phillies at Candlestick Park. As with Pedro Ramos, Marichal would lose his no-hit bid in the eighth inning by allowing a single to Clay Dalrymple.

Marichal would fare considerably better in his career than Pedro Ramos did. Marichal would become one of the premier pitchers during the era of the Pitcher of the 1960's. Pitching against such stiff competition as Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson and Warren Spahn, Marichal was able to finish with a 243-142 record over a 16-year career.

Marichal led the league in victories twice with a 25-8 record in 1963 and a 28-9 record in 1968. Marichal also put up seven straight sub 3.00 ERA seasons from 1963-1969 with a league and career best 2.10 ERA in 1969. Even more impressive was Marichal throwing 260+ innings in a season eight times with a league leading 321.1 in 1963 and a league leading and career high 325.2 in 1968. Marichal would finish the 1960's with 191 wins and 195 complete games.

Here is the boxscore of Marichal's 1-hit complete game victory against the Philadelphia Phillies from the July 20, 1960 edition of the New York Times:

For Further Reading:

Though both Latino hurlers had careers that went in different directions, they both share a moment in time when both threw 1-hit complete games on the same day.

Hasta la próxima, nunca dejaremos de jugar el Beisbol,
Baseball Sisco

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

1995 Senadores de San Juan

I recently came across the article Remembering the '95 'Dream Team' by Gabrielle Paese from ESPN's MLB webpage and decided to look a little deeper into the Dream Team that made up Puerto Rico's selection for the 1995 Caribbean League World Series. 

Now consider that the 1994-1995 Caribbean League came right on the heels of the 1994 work stoppage that cancelled the 1994 season and World Series. So you can imagine how in Baseball mad places like the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico the sight of real top level Baseball being played was like an oasis to a person lost in the desert. With the final series being held in Puerto Rico, the selection for the Puerto Rican team would have to be one of the best in history. Senadores manager Luis "Torito" Melendez didn't disappoint. Here was the starting lineup for the Senadores:
1B: Carmelo Martínez
2B: Roberto Alomar
3B: Carlos Baerga
SS: Rey Sanchez
OF: Juan "Igor" González
OF Bernabé "Bernie" Williams
OF: Rubén "El Indio" Sierra
C: Carlos Delgado
BD/DH : Edgar Martinez
You have one Hall of Famer in Alomar. A second one (in my opinion) in Edgar Martinez. A borderline third one in Carlos Delgado. A very underrated Bernie Williams, one of the feared sluggers of the era in Juan Gonzalez and defensive whizzes in Carlos Baerga and Rey Sanchez. A young Carlos Delgado was behind the plate, a postition that most fans don't remember he came up to the majors as before being moved to first base by the Toronto Blue Jays. Keep in mind that Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez was not on the roster due to a knee injury. Or else he would have also been playing in this series.

The Puerto Rican dream team went undefeated in the tournament going 6-0 outscoring the opposition by a margin of 49-15. They were led by Series MVP Roberto Alomar who batted .560 with two home runs, 10 RBIs, 9 Runs scored, an .840 Slugging percentage and 2 Stolen bases. Bernie Williams hit .417 with three homers and a .875 slugging percentage, Juan Gonzalez hit .375 with a .667 slugging percentage and Edgar Martinez hit .375 with 9 RBI.

In terms of pitching, the team was led by Puerto Ricans Roberto Hernandez, Ricky Bones, Jose Alberro and imported pitchers Doug Brocail, Eric Gunderson and Chris Haney.

One point stands out to me in the article by Paese. In the article, veteran statistician, historian and journalist Jossie Alvarado is quoted as saying the following:
"I had never before seen a team that so wanted to represent Puerto Rico," said veteran statistician, historian and journalist Jossie Alvarado about the Senadores, who traded the club's name and played with Puerto Rico on their uniforms for the first time in Caribbean Series history. "The front office staff told me that no checks were ever cut for the major leaguers. They all waived any fees they could have charged just because they so wanted the chance to play for the island. It was that big a deal."
Its a shame that Baseball has been on the decline in Puerto Rico since then. There are many reasons such as Puerto Rican players being included in the player draft since 1990, the economics of the island that led to the disruption of play of the Puerto Rican league during the 2007-2008 season and interests in other sports such as Basketball and Boxing. With the possible opening of the Cuban baseball market in the near future, opportunities for Puerto Rican born players will continue to dwindle.

At least we can all look back on the 1995 Caribbean League Champion Senadores de San Juan to see what arguably the peak of Puerto Rican baseball is.

Hasta la próxima, nunca dejaremos de jugar el Beisbol,
Baseball Sisco

For Further Reading:
- Remembering the '95 'Dream Team' by Gabrielle Paese from ESPN's MLB webpage dated February 2, 2015
- El Dream Team de Puerto Rico aún despierta emociones by David Venn from El Puro Beisbol website dated February 5, 2014 
Puerto Rican Dream Teams from the My World of Baseball blogpage
Un equipo soñado y arrollador presentó Puerto Rico en 1995 by Diobert Tocuyo from El Tiempo Newspaper from Venezuela dated February 12, 2012
- Celebran 20 aniversario del Dream Team by David Venn from the Licey Baseball website dated February 4, 2015
1995 Caribbean Series from Baseball Reference

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pedro Guerrero's Health Scare

It was reported a few days ago that former slugger Pedro Guerrero of the Dominican Republic had been hospitalized with cranial bleeding at el Centro de Diagnóstico y Medicina Avanzada (Cedimat) in the city of Santo Domingo, DR. Guerrero, who played 15 major league seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals during the 1980's through the mid 1990's was one of the pre-eminent sluggers to come out of the Dominican Republic.

At a time when many Dominican players came from the "no-hit good glove" school of middle infielders, sluggers like Guerrero and George Bell paved the way for later Dominican Sluggers such as Vladimir Guerrero, Raul Mondesi, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, Sammy Sosa and Albert Pujols.

In his 15 year career, Guerrero was a model of consistency both at the plate and in the field. Guerrero hit for .300 or more seven times finishing with a career .300 average. Guerrero was a five time All-Star, a Silver Slugger in 1982 and four top five MVP voting results, finishing in the top three in 1982, 1985 and 1989. In his earlier years, Guerrero played at practically every position that Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda plugged him into except shortstop and pitcher. In his time with the Cardinals, Guerrero was primarily a first baseman while playing a number of games in the outfield.

His crowning moment came on October 28 1981 during Game Six of the 1981 World Series against the New York Yankees. Guerrero unloaded against the Yankees by going 3-for-5 with a solo home run, a triple and a bases loaded single for a total of five RBIs. Guerrero batted .333 (7-for-21) with two homers and seven RBIs earning co-World Series Most Valuable Player honors with teammates Ron Cey and Steve Yeager.

Guerrero was always a family favorite growing up. El "Orgullo Dominicano" was always exemplified with his effort on the field not only in MLB but also in the Dominican League.

The Dominican newspaper El Listin Diario states that Guerrero "has recovered more than 80 percent mobility in his left arm". Hopefully Guerrero can make a full recovery from his injuries.

For Further Reading: