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Monday, December 12, 2005

Diomedes Olivo

Eligible in 1969.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 12, 2005 at 02:26 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 12, 2005 at 02:36 AM (#1772923)
I know squat about his pre-ML career, so I have no idea if he's a HoMer or not.
   2. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 12, 2005 at 03:42 AM (#1772979)
But a helluva name.
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 12, 2005 at 03:58 AM (#1772989)
But a helluva name.

You got that right, Ivan. :-)
   4. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 12, 2005 at 03:38 PM (#1773362)
Is Alonzo Perry also a 68er? Or is he eligible in 1969?
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 12, 2005 at 03:45 PM (#1773369)
Isn't Perry '69? His last year in the Mexican League was '63.
   6. Cblau Posted: December 13, 2005 at 02:41 AM (#1774596)
The 1991 Baseball Research Journal has an article on him by Dr. Jose de Jimenez (no Bill Dana cracks, please.) In the Dominican League, he was 86-46 in 11 seasons, leading the league in wins twice and ERA once. Had the best career ERA for pitchers with at least 1000 IP (2.11), as well as the most wins and strikeouts.

He pitched in the Mexican League for 5 years, leading in wins and strikeouts his last year, 1959. Olivo pitched only 3 years in American minor leagues, all in the International League, and only one full season, 1961, when he had a 2.01 ERA with 118 K's in 130 IP.

Apparently there was no professional ball in the Dominican Republic between his age 19-31 years. He played professionally in Puerto Rico in 1947 (at least) but the article doesn't have stats for that season.
   7. Mark Donelson Posted: January 19, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#1827662)
Any more info on this guy forthcoming from any of the usual suspects?
   8. Nate the Neptunian Posted: June 19, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3856975)
These are from Peter Bjarkman's Diamonds around the Globe: The Encyclopedia of International Baseball. For the Dominican League stats I'm not sure if he gathered them via original research of box scores or via previously published sources.

Year     Team          League         Wins  Losses   Pct.  G   IP     ERA   SO  H
1951     Licey         Dominican 
(S)  10    5       .667   16  107    1.90  65  107
1952     Licey         Dominican 
(S)  10    5       .667   19  115.1  1.33  79  93
1953     Licey         Dominican 
(S)  6     2       .750   19  96     2.34  57  104
1954     Licey         Dominican 
(S)  8     2       .800   13  87     1.86  37  75
'55-'56  Licey         Dominican (W)  8     3       .728   16  105.2  1.53  37  103
'56-'57  Licey         Dominican (W)  10    4       .714   16  107.2  1.84  45  89
'57-'58  Licey         Dominican (W)  4     8       .333   18  82.2   4.79  65  98
'58-'59  Licey         Dominican (W)  4     2       .667   21  17.2   2.13  66  65
'59-'60  Licey         Dominican (W)  7     6       .538   22  116    2.33  98  98
'60-'61  Licey         Dominican (W)  10    6       .625   20  142    1.58  160 95
'63-'64  Licey         Dominican (W)  9     3       .750   18  114    2.37  37  115
Totals                                86    46      .652   198 1166.1 2.11  742 1042 



The W-L record and ERA match what Cblau cites in #6. But, clearly something is wrong with the stats in '58-'59. Given his ineffectiveness the previous winter, and the low IP total and number of decisions, I was thinking maybe he got hurt and only pitched in relief that year. 17.2 innings in 21 games would be a bunch of really short stints, worthy of a modern LOOGY, but it's not impossible (and he was a left-hander), but clearly 66 Ks and 65 Hs make no sense in that context. Something is out of whack; it could be the IP, but that doesn't explain his fairly low number of decisions, if he really did start 21 games (and had the IP to match). But I suppose that could have been a fluke thing. Also, the totals are from the book, as when I add them up, I don't get the same numbers. Everything adds up except IP (well, I can't verify ERA, without ERs, but everything else), where I get 1091.

And in addition, even ignoring '58-'59, his K/9 rates are all over the place. Using 1073.1 (the amount I calculated, minus the listed total for '58-'59) as his IP and 676 as his Ks, his career rate in the Dominican is 5.67. But his yearly rates are:

'51 5.47
'52 6.17
'53 5.34
'54 3.41
'55-'56 3.15
'56-'57 3.76
'57-'58 7.08
('58-'59 34.53)
'59-'60 7.60
'60-'61 10.14
'63-'64 2.92

Not sure what to make of that. For what it's worth, his MLB K/9 rate was 7.1 in 107.1 IP, and his AAA K/9 rate at Columbus and Altanta in the IL was 7.9 in 280 IP. Both, obviously, at very advanced ages.

Anyway, some years in the minors are also listed in the book:

Year     Team          League         Wins  Losses   Pct.  G   IP     ERA   SO  H
1955     Havana        Cuban 
(W)      0     1       .000   7   13     5.54  4   21
1955     Mexico City   Mexican        8     6       .571   28  141    4.91  120 151
1956     Mexico City   Mexican        15    8       .652   32  197    2.65  115 197
1957     Mexico City   Mexican        3     1       .750   5   36     2.00  29  27
1958     Mexico City   Mexican        8     6       .571   28  151    3.81  122 160
1959     Poza Rica     Mexican        21    8       .724   35  247    3.02  233 219
1961     Columbus      International  11    7       .611   66  130    2.01  118 100 


He was also in Columbus in '60 before being called up to the Pirates, and in Atlanta in '64, but those years are on BR, so I'm not going to bother typing it out. (Technically, '61 is there as well, but it's missing Ks, so I included it here). Also, he was born in 1919, so this is still only half his career or so, as even the DSL stats start when he was 32. Before that information is sketchy, but he seems to have been playing with Licey in the Dominican at least at times. However, between the infamous '37 campaign when Trujillo imported a bunch of NgLers for his personal team, and '51 when the Summer League restarted, professional teams existed in the DR, but there was no organized league play.

He also seems to have been a pretty good hitter for a pitcher. Bjarkman mentions Olivo played the outfield on his off days as a younger player (though provides no stats), and while his MLB stats are nothing special, in a very small sample of 20 PA, his AAA numbers are pretty decent for a pitcher. He went 20 for 90 with 1 BB and 4 doubles in his time in the IL.

Anyway, this is for what it's worth. Obviously he was a very good player, but given some uncertainty about his stats, and (more importantly) lack of context for the leagues he played in, whether he was truly great is a matter of speculation. Though either he or Vargas is typically cited as the greatest early Dominican player, so he does have the reputation.

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