Dominican Baseball

by Cristian Mendoza Muņoz

Professional Baseball in the Dominican Republic has evolved dramatically in its 100-year history. Originally there were two professional teams in the entire country; today the league consists of five teams. Santo Dominigo has two teams, Tigres del Licey, and Leones de Escojido; San Pedro de Macoris has Estrellas Orientales; Santiago has Aguilas del Cibao; and La Romana has Azucareros del Este. Each team play a sixty game schedule that begins the end of October and runs to February. The season ends in a round-robin play-off with the two finalist advancing to the Caribbean Series to play against the champions of Mexico Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

Major League Baseball of the Dominican Republic began to gain international attention in the early 50's. Ozzie Virgil was the first Dominican to play Major League baseball in the United States. By the mid-50's,driven by the success of Juan Marichal and the three Alou brothers, Major League Baseball in the Dominican Republic had become internationally recognized as the home of Winter Baseball.

Batting Records

Matty Alou .307

Wins

Juan Marichal 243

MVP

George Bell 1987 AL

Rookie of the year

Alfredo Griffin 1979 AL

Raul Mondesi 1994 NL

Batting Champions

Matty Alou .342 1966 NL

Rico Carty .366 1970 NL

Julio Franco .341 1991 AL

RBI

George Bell 134 1987 AL

Stolen Bases

Frank Taveras 70 1977 NL

ERA

Juan Marichal 2.10 1969 NL

Alejandro Peņa 2.48 1984 NL

Osvaldo "Ozzie" Virgil Born 5/17/1932 Monte Cristy Debut September 1956 New York Giants Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'0" Wt 175 Position SS, 3B

Ozzie came to the US in 1947 and started playing baseball with the US Marines in the 50s.He was signed with the New York Giants in 1953 and made the Big league in 1956. Ozzie played with the Giants, the Tigers, the Pirates, the SF Giants, the Orioles and Kansas City A's. During winter season Ozzie played with the Mayaguez Indians in Puerto Rico and with the Aguilas and Escojido in the Dominican Republic. After retirement from playing he went on coaching with the SF Giants, the Expos, the Padres, and the Mariners. Also managed the Aguilas and Escojido in Dominican. In Venezuela he managed the Caracas Guira, Aragua and Lara, and in Mexico he managed the Mazatlan Venados. He is currently the player coordinator for the California Angels in the Dominican summer league.

Felipe Alou Born 5/12/1935 Haina Debut June 1958 San Francisco Giants Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'0" Wt 195 Position OF, 1B

In 1966 Felipe was name first baseman on The Sporting News All-Stars Team and led the NL in total bases, hits, and at bats while also hitting 31 homers. Felipe is also known for been outspoken about the need for Hispanics to enter the administrative and management sides of the game. In 1979 Felipe became an Expos coach, alternating between jobs and managing in the Montreal farm system in such places as West Palm Beach, Memphis, Indianapolis and Denver. In 1985 Felipe was given a chance for an interview to managed the Giants, but he backed out and stay with the Expos. "I really didn't care if it was my only opportunity," he explains. "I was glad to stay with the Expos. They have been very good to me and continue to good to me." In 1992 Felipe was name Manager of the Expos and took a surprising second-place finish, earning praise for his low-key but very effective style. In 1994 he was named Manager of the Year in the National League. The next year he led the NL in the All-Stars game and took home the trophy.

Juan Marichal Born 10/20/1937 Laguna Verde Debut July 1960 San Francisco Giants Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'0" Wt 185 Position Pitcher

Juan won more than 20 games in six out of seven consecutive seasons for San Francisco. He also tie a record for pitching in eight All-Satrs Games, two of which he won in 62 and 64. In 1965 he won the Arch Ward Trophy as the Game's Most Valuable Player. During the 1960s Juan dominated the National League, from 63-69 except for one year he won more than 20 games. Also during the 60s Marichal won 191 games, 27 more than the runner-up, St. Louis hurler Bob Gibson, yet Marichal never won a Cy Young Award. In 1963 Marichal pitched a no-hitter and two weeks later he and Warren Spahn battled for 16 innings in one of the greatest pitching match-ups of all time. Marichal won 1-0, on a homerun by Willie Mays. Baseball best hitter Pete Rose said that Marichal was the toughest pitcher he ever faced. Juan Marichal was passed twice for induction into the Hall-of-Fame due to an incident in 1965, when he hit John Roseboro in the head with a bat. John Roseboro campaigned for his election and in 1983 Juan Marichal made every Dominican proud by becoming the first to reach Cooperstown.

Julian Javier Born 8/9/1936 San Francisco de Macoris Debut May 1960 St Louis Cardinals Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'1" Wt 175 Position Second Baseman

With Javier's artful play at second, the Cards won three National League titles between 1964 and 1968 and the World Series against the Yankees in 1964 and the Res Sox in 1967. Javier's three-run homer in Game 7 of the 1967 World Series helped lock it up for the Cards. In four World Series he batted .333. He now manages the Aguilas Cibaeņa in Dominican Republic. His son Stan plays professional baseball for the Oakland A's.

Rudy Hernandez Born 12/10/33 Santiago Debut 1960 Washington Senators Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'3" Wt 190 Position Pitcher

Rudy was the first Dominican pitcher in Major League baseball two months before Juan Marichal. In 1958 playing for Escojido(Dominican League) Rudy had 6-1 record with a .098 ERA. Rudy was the also the first Dominican in the expansion team the Minnesota Twins, but the Senators bought him back for $79,000. Rudy has worked in the Sports and Recreation department in Puerto Rico for the past 15 years. He is also a scout for the Chicago Cubs in Puerto Rico.

Manny Mota Born 2/18/1938 Santo Dominigo, Debut April 62 San Francisco Giants Bats Right Throws Right Ht 5'11" Wt 168 Position Outfielder

The most accomplished pinch hitter in major league history, Manny holds the record with 150 career pinch hits. Hit over .300 for the Dodgers in five consecutive seasons from 1969 to 1973. Manny Mota now is a coach for the Dodgers and a Manager in the Dominican Republic. Manny Mota has four sons in professional baseball and owns a restaurant in Santo Domingo called "Manny Mota's Dugout." He also operates the Manny Mota Youth League in the Dominican Republic.

Rico Carty Born 9/1/39 San Pedro de Macoris Debut September 1963 Milwaukee Braves Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'3" Wt 200 Position DH, OF, 1B

When Rico Carty started playing baseball he was so impressive that he was signed by 10 different clubs. Rico was one of the best natural hitter ever to play, Rico's career was sidetrack by illness and injury. He hit over .330 with 22 homeruns in his rookie season (1964), he hit over .300 in three of his first four seasons. In 1968 he contracted TB and missed the entire season, on his comeback in 69, he hit .342. After winning the 1970 batting title, he had knee injury and missed the entire 71 season. In 1970 Rico was the first write-in-starter in the All Star Game. In 1979 Rico hit 31 homeruns at the age of 39. Rico Carty holds the honorary rank of General in the Dominican Army.

Mateo Alou Born Haina Debut September 1960 San Francisco Giants Bats Left Throws Left Ht 5'9" Wt 160 Position OF, 1B

Matty Alou won the batting title in 1966 with .342 and the other two person next to him were his brother Felipe and Rico Carty. Matty posted a .338, .332 and .331 form 1967-69. He led the major in 1969 with 231 hits and set a Major League record(since broken) with 698 official at bats. He retire with a .307 batting average.

Cesar Cedeņo Born Santo Domingo Debut June 1970 Houston Astros Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'2" Wt 195 Position Outfielder

Cesar Cedeņo earned 5 consecutive Gold Gloves (1972-76) and appeared in the 1972-74 All Stars Game. On his rookie year he hit .310 in 90 games, he also hit .320 in 1972 and 1973. In 1974 he drove 100 runs and stole 50 or more bases six consecutive seasons (1972-77).

Jesus Alou Born 3/24/1942 Haina Debut September 1963 San Francisco Giants Bats Right Throws Right Position Outfielder

Between 1963 and 1979 Jesus had produce 82 pinch hits. On September 10, 1963 Jesus, Matty and Felipe Alou all batted against New York Mets pitcher Carlton Willey in the same inning-the only time three major league brothers have ever steeped to the plate in the same inning. Jesus biggest day was in July 10, 1964, when he went six-for-six five singles and a homer. In 1979 the Astros made Jesus a player-coach, and later he became a scout for the Montreal system in the Dominican Republic.

Cesar Geronimo Born 3/11/1948 El Seibo Debut April 1969 Houston Astros Bats Left Throws Left Ht 6'2" Wt 170 Position Outfielder

Three-time Gold Glove center fielder, was one of the defensive stars of Cincinnati "Big Red Machine," a team best known for its hitting. He won his first Gold Glove in 1974 and led the National League in putouts, total chances, and double plays in 1975. In 1976 he batted .307. Geronimo was, coincidentally, the 3,000th strikeout victim of Bob Gibson(on July 17, 1974) and Nolan Ryan (on July 4, 1980). "I was just at the right place at the right time," he said.

Pedro Borbon Born 12/2/1946 Valverde, Mao Debut April 1969 California Angels Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'2" Wt 185 Position Pitcher

Whenever the Big Red Machine needed to shut down the opposition in the late innings, Pedro Borbon was the one they called. His first well year came in 1973, when he led the league in relief runs and was named to the All-Star team for the first of his four times. He compiled a lifetime 0.63 ERA in the playoffs and never yield an earned run in 7 games from 1973 to 1976. His son Pedro Jr. is playing professional baseball.

Pedro Guerrero Born 6/29/1956 San Pedro de Macoris Debut September 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers Bats Right Throws Right Ht 6'0" Wt 195 Position 1B, OF, 3B

When healthy Pedro Guerrero was one of the best hitters in baseball. In 1981 he was hitting .300 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs in that strike-shortened season. Later that year in the World Series against the Yankees, he hit two homers and drove in seven runs, five in the final game. He shared the Series MVP Award with Ron Cey and Steve Garvey. In 1982 he hit .304 with 32 homers and 100 RBIs. The next season he had .298 with 32 homers and 103 RBIs. He missed part of 1984 and 1985 due to injuries, but still managed to bring in 49 homeruns in both seasons. In June of 1985 Pedro hit 16 homeruns to tie the major league records(along with Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Bob Johnson). He also approached a major league record by reaching base 14 times in a row(two homers, three doubles, two singles, six walks, and a hit-by-pitch), two short of Ted Williams's mark. Another injury in 86 Pedro was out of the game once again. In 1987 Pedro had his best year, batting .338 with 27 homers. Pedro retired in 1992.

All the players that have played in the Major League

001 Osvaldo Virgil 56 057 Victor Cruz 78 112 Felix Jose 88 167 Jose Oliva 002 Felipe Alou 58 058 Arturo de Freites 78 113 Gibson Alba 88 168 Clemente Nuņez 003 Matty Alou 60 059 Damaso Garcia 78 114 Jose Bautista 88 169 Julian Vasquez 004 Julian Javier 60 060 Alberto Lois 78 115 Rab Manzanillo 88 170 Johny Guzman 005 Juan Marichar 60 061 Pedro Hernandez 79 116 Ramon Martinez 88 171 Ramon Caraballo 006 Rudy Hernandez 60 062 Rafael Vazquez 79 117 Jose Segura 88 172 Ruben Santana 007 Guayubin Olivo 60 063 Jose Moreno 80 118 Sil Campusano 88 173 Omar Ramirez 008 Chichi Olivo 61 064 Tony Peņa 80 119 Luis D Santos 88 174 Salomon Torres 009 Manny Jimenez 62 065 Julio Valdez 80 120 Samuel Sosa 89 175 Quilvio Veras 010 Manny Mota 62 066 Pascual Perez 80 121 Jose Vizcaino 89 176 Manny Ramirez 011 Amado Samuel 62 067 Manny Castillo 80 122 Jose Cano 89 177 Jose Martinez 012 Jesus Alou 63 068 Jesus Figueroa 80 123 Geronimo Berroa 89 178 Luis Ortiz 013 Pedro Gonzalez 63 069 Rafael Ramirez 80 124 Frank Cabrera 89 179 Cesar Bernhardt 014 Ricardo Carty 63 070 George Bell 81 125 Junior Felix 89 180 Domingo Jean 015 Elvio Jimenez 64 071 Rufino Linares 81 126 Juan Bell 89 181 Miguel Jimenez 016 Ricardo Joseph 64 072 Alejandro Peņa 81 127 Ramon Peņa 89 182 Luis Andujar 017 Roberto Peņa 65 073 Alejandro Sanchez 82 128 Moises Alou 90 183 Julian Tavares 018 Jose Vidal 66 074 Rafael Belliard 82 129 Victor Rosario 90 184 Domingo Cedeņo 019 Winston Llenas 68 075 Cecilio Guante 82 130 Jose Offerman 90 185 Danny Bautista 020 Rafael Robles 69 076 Nelson Norman 82 131 Andujar Cedeņo 90 186 Fausto Cruz 021 Fed Velazquez-69 077 Carmelo Castillo 82 132 Mel Rojas 90 187 Dario Perez 022 Pedro Borbon 69 078 Juan Espino 82 133 Efrain Valdez 90 188 Juan dela Rosa 023 Santiago Guzman 69 079 Julio Franco 82 134 Geronimo Peņa 90 189 Norberto Martin 024 Cesar Geronimo 69 080 Giberto Reyes 83 135 Fran dela Rosa 91 190 Carlos Perez 025 Cesar Cedeņo 70 081 Juan Samuel 83 136 Luis Mercedes 91 191 Vladimir Perez 026 Teddy Martinez 70 082 Rafael Santana 83 137 Rafael Valdez 91 027 Tomas Silverio 70 083 Jose de Leon 83 138 Tony Eusebio 91 028 Milciades Olivo 70 084 Julio Solano 83 139 Andy Mota 91 029 Frank Taveras 71 085 Tony Fernandez 83 140 Braulio Castillo 91 030 Elia Sosa 72 086 Stan Javier 84 141 Juan Guzman 91 031 Pepe Frias 73 087 Victor Mata 84 142 Josias Manzanillo 91 032 Rafael Batista 73 088 Junior Noboa 84 143 Yorkis Perez 91 033 Mario Guerrero 73 089 Jose Uribe 84 144 Andre Santana 91 034 Bill Castro 74 090 Jose Rijo 84 145 Ramon Guzman 91 035 Ramon delo Santos 74 091 Jose Roman 84 146 Esteban Beltre 91 036 Arnulfo Espinosa 74 092 Ramon Romero 84 147 Jose Mota 91 037 Juan Jimenez 74 093 Denio Gonzalez 84 148 Hipolito Pichardo 92 038 Miguel Dilone 74 094 Manny Lee 85 149 Bernardo Brito 92 039 Jose Sosa 75 095 Andres Thomas 85 150 Henry Mercedes 92 040 Jesus de la Rosa 75 096 Mariano Duncan 85 151 Pedro F. Borbon 92 041 Ignacio Javier 76 097 Jose Gonzalez 85 152 Cesar Hernandez 92 042 Samuel Mejia 76 098 Ruben Rodriguez 86 153 Juan Guerrero 92 043 Alejandro Taveras 76 099 Wilfredo Tejada 86 154 Henry Rodriguez 92 044 Santo Alcala 76 100 Balbino Galvez 86 155 Pedro Astacio 92 045 Joaquin Andujar 76 101 Manny Hernandez 86 156 Pedro J. Martinez 92 046 Juan Bernhardt 76 102 Hipolito Peņa 86 157 Ben Rivera 92 047 Alfredo Griffin 76 103 Sergio Valdez 86 158 Domingo Martinez 92 048 Rafael Landestoy 77 104 Juan Castillo 86 159 Manny Alexander 92 049 Luis Pujols 77 105 Luis Polonia 87 160 Pedro A. Martinez 93 050 Silvio Martinez 77 106 Jose Mesa 87 161 Roberto Mejia 93 051 Mario Soto 77 107 Jose Nuņez 87 162 Bien Figueroa 93 052 Angel Torres 77 108 Melido Perez 87 163 Ramon Martinez 93 053 Jose Baez 77 109 Felix Fermin 87 164 Rafael Bournigal 93 054 Pedro Guerrero 78 110 Leo Garcia 87 165 William Suero 93 055 Domingo Ramos 78 111 Nelson Liriano 87 166 Raul Mondesi 056 Luis Silverio 78

Lifetime Batting Averages

Name AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO Ozzie Virgil .231 324 753 75 175 19 7 14 73 34 91 Felipe Alou .286 2082 7339 985 2101 359 49 206 852 423 706 Mateo Alou .307 1667 5789 780 1777 236 50 31 427 311 377 Manny Mota .304 1536 3779 448 1149 125 52 31 438 269 320 Jesus Alou .280 1380 4345 448 1216 170 26 32 377 138 267 Rico Carty .299 1651 5606 712 1677 278 17 204 890 642 663 Manny Jimenez .272 429 1003 90 272 43 4 26 144 75 97 Rick Joseph .243 270 633 69 154 26 1 13 65 51 141 Amado Samuel .215 53 142 7 33 7 0 0 5 4 24 Pedro Gonzalez .244 407 1084 99 264 39 6 8 70 52 176 Elvio Jimenez .333 1 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 Roberto Peņa .245 587 1907 174 467 65 10 13 154 114 235 Jose Vidal .164 88 146 20 24 1 3 3 10 18 46 Wiston Llenas .230 300 531 50 122 17 0 3 61 18 69 Rafael Robles .188 47 133 7 25 1 0 0 3 6 17 Ted Martinez .240 657 1480 165 355 50 16 7 108 55 213 Tom Silverio .100 13 12 2 3 0 0 0 0 2 9 Frank Taveras .255 1150 4043 503 1029 144 44 2 214 249 474 Pepe Fria .240 723 1346 132 323 49 8 1 108 49 136 Mario Guerrero .257 697 2251 166 578 79 12 7 170 84 152 Miguel Dilone .265 800 2000 314 530 67 25 6 129 142 197 Samuel Mejia .247 334 348 51 86 13 2 4 31 16 51 Juan Bernhardt .238 154 492 46 117 19 2 9 43 14 40 Alfredo Griffin .249 1962 6780 759 1688 245 78 24 527 338 664 Rafael Landestoy.237 596 1230 134 291 32 17 4 83 100 123 Luis Pujols .193 316 850 50 164 27 6 6 81 52 164 Jose Baez .245 114 355 47 87 14 2 1 19 25 27 Pedro Guerrero .300 1536 5392 730 1618 267 29 215 898 609 862 Domingo Ramos .240 507 1086 109 261 34 2 8 85 92 138 Art DeFreites .208 32 53 3 11 3 0 1 6 1 20 Damaso Garcia .283 1032 3914 490 1108 183 27 36 323 130 322 Alberto Louis .250 14 4 6 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 Tony Peņa Still Playing Julio Valdez .207 65 87 11 18 2 0 1 8 1 18 Manny Castillo .242 236 719 63 174 35 4 3 73 29 55 Jesus Figueroa .253 115 198 20 50 5 0 1 11 14 16 Rafael Ramirez .261 1539 5494 562 1432 224 31 53 494 264 621 George Bell Still Playing Rufino Linares .270 207 545 60 147 21 3 11 63 24 74 Alejandro Sanchez.229 109 214 28 49 7 3 8 21 1 60 Nelson Norman .221 198 429 42 95 12 3 0 25 21 50 Carmelo Castillo.252 631 1519 190 383 71 8 55 197 90 291 Juan Espino .219 49 73 2 16 2 0 1 8 3 15 Rafael Santana .246 668 2021 188 497 74 5 13 156 138 234 Victor Mata .312 38 77 9 24 5 0 1 6 0 17 Denio Gonzalez .206 98 262 29 54 9 1 4 18 27 64 Andre Thomas .234 577 2103 182 493 76 4 42 228 59 301 Jose Gonzalez .213 461 676 95 144 30 7 9 42 60 186 Ruben Rodriguez .125 4 8 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 Wilfredo Tejada .250 18 40 2 10 3 0 0 4 2 12 Juan Castillo .215 199 469 60 101 11 5 3 38 41 104

Lifetime Pitching Averages

Name ERA W L PCT G GS CG SH SV IP H HR BB SO Juan Marichal 2.89 243 142 .631 471 457 244 44 2 3507.3 3153 320 423 706 Rudy Hernandez 4.12 4 2 .667 28 0 0 0 0 43.7 42 2 24 26 Chi Chi Olivo 3.96 7 6 .538 96 0 0 0 12 141.0 129 13 50 98 Guayubin Olivo 3.10 5 6 .455 85 1 0 0 0 107.0 112 7 39 85 Rudy Hernandez 4.12 4 2 .000 7 0 0 0 0 9.0 8 0 3 4 Santiago Guzman 4.50 1 2 .333 12 5 1 0 0 32.0 30 4 18 29 Elia Sosa 3.32 59 51 .536 601 3 0 0 83 918.0 873 64 334 538 Bill Castro 3.33 31 26 .544 303 9 0 0 45 546.3 564 36 145 203 Nino Espinosa 4.17 44 55 .444 140 126 24 5 0 820.3 865 85 252 338 Jose Sosa 4.60 1 3 .250 34 2 0 0 1 58.7 67 5 29 36 Santo Alcala 4.76 14 11 .560 68 33 3 1 2 249.3 257 25 121 140 Joaquin Andujar 3.58 127 118 .518 405 305 68 19 9 2153.0 2016 155 731 1032 Silvio Martinez 3.88 31 32 .492 107 87 14 4 1 582.7 568 41 237 230 Mario Soto 3.47 100 92 .521 297 224 72 13 4 1730.3 1395 172 657 1442 Victor Cruz 3.09 18 23 .439 187 0 0 0 37 271.0 218 28 131 248 Pascual Perez 3.44 67 68 .496 207 193 21 4 0 1244.3 1167 107 344 822 Ajelandro Peņa 2.95 50 48 .510 433 72 12 7 65 969.7 878 61 301 743 Cecil Guante 3.48 29 34 .460 363 1 0 0 35 595.0 512 61 236 503 Julio Solano 4.55 6 8 .429 106 1 0 0 3 174.0 162 23 82 102 Jose Roman 8.12 1 8 .111 14 10 0 0 0 44.3 45 7 42 24 Ramon Romero 6.28 2 3 .400 20 10 0 0 0 67.3 69 13 38 41 Balbino Galvez 3.97 0 1 .000 10 0 0 0 0 20.7 19 3 12 11 Manny Hernandez 4.47 2 7 .222 16 7 0 0 0 50.3 58 3 17 22 Hipolito Peņa 4.84 1 7 .125 42 0 0 0 2 48.3 33 0 38 32

Courtesy of Microsoft Corporation, Lime Rock, and Hispanic in the Major League Magazine.

Special thank to Ozzie Virgil Sr and Jr and Rudy Hernandez for their contributions.

If you have any suggestion or comment please send it to

cmendoza-mu@bealsv1.mednet.af.mil

For more information on the Dominican Republic and some cool Dominicans


For information on Negro League Baseball