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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

At 102, Oldest Living Former Major Leaguer Spends Days in Cuba

Marrero was a bright spot on a bad team. He didn’t reach the majors until he was just a few days shy of 39, an age most ballplayers were well into retirement. The Washington journalist Bob Addie once wrote that Marrero “might have become a Hall of Famer had he been plucked at a younger age.”

In just his fifth big league game, Marrero struck out Boston’s Ted Williams with a dancing knuckleball. According to specious news accounts, he patted himself on the chest as he walked off the mound, saying, “Gude. Me want more money.”

Three decades later, a Post reporter visited Cuba and talked to Marrero about facing Williams. He told one of his favorite stories, about another game in which Williams went deep twice. The old pitcher would never forget: once off a slider, once off a knuckler.

“After the game, he put his arm around me under the stands and said, ‘This was my day,’ ” Marrero recalled. “I told Williams, ‘Every day is your day.’ ”

Bourbon Samurai Posted: March 26, 2014 at 05:10 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cuban baseball, nationals

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   1. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4677584)
No idea what the pitches were, but it must have been this game. It was the first game of a doubleheader, so it's altogether possible they could have talked under the stands between games. Of interest: Williams hit second, Billy Goodman third. I guess the concept of hitting your best hitter second isn't that new?
   2. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 26, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4677604)
Williams hit .333/.450/.697 in 40 PA against Marrero, pretty close to the .344/.482/.634 he hit against everybody.
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4677627)
The only time I ever saw Williams vs. Marrero was in this game on August 23, 1953. Since I was only nine at the time, all I remembered was that the Red Sox had won and that Williams had hit a tremendous home run over the high RF wall in Griffith Stadium.

But when I look at the box score, I see that Williams had struck out, fouled to third and walked against Marrero, and hit the game tying home run off Sonny Dixon, who'd replaced Marrero in the top of the 7th. Williams was then replaced in LF in the bottom of the inning by Karl Olsen, who then hit the game winning double in the top of the 9th.

BTW that home run brought Ted's BA up to .480, only a month after he'd returned from Korea. His OPS was a mere 1.701.
   4. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:56 AM (#4677669)
Wrong thread.
   5. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: March 27, 2014 at 06:31 AM (#4677671)
Re 1: Sixty years ago, it was not all unusual to see less than 6,000 fans in Fenway Park. (For a doubleheader, no less!)
   6. Steve Treder Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4677838)
Had the great privilege of meeting Marrero at his home in Havana a few years ago. An absolutely delightful guy, and a garrulous storyteller at the age of (then) nearly 100. Loved hearing him talk about listening to "Wally" Johnson pitch in the World Series on the radio.

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