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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Tony Pérez book is first about only Cuban Major Leaguer in National Baseball Hall of Fame

Pérez grew up in the little sugar mill town of Violeta, learning to hit pebbles with a stick, playing his way out of the mill through that narrow window just before the Bay of Pigs (when the window closed permanently). The “140-pound string bean with the fluorescent smile” signed with the Cincinnati Reds. His bonus? A $2.50 visa and a plane ticket to Tampa.

Most WAR, Cuban-born players:

Players        WAR/pos
Rafael Palmeiro   71.9
Tony Perez        54.0
Bert Campaneris   53.1
Minnie Minoso     50.5
Tony Oliva        43.1
Jose Canseco      42.5
Leo Cardenas      27.3
Yunel Escobar     27.1 
Pitchers           WAR
Luis Tiant        66.1
Dolf Luque        43.3
Camilo Pascual    37.5
Mike Cuellar      29.4
Livan Hernandez   25.0
Orlando Hernandez 23.2
Pedro Ramos       22.4
Aroldis Chapman   15.1 
DanG Posted: May 10, 2018 at 12:46 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cuban players, hall of fame, reds, tony perez

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. DL from MN Posted: May 10, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5670247)
Modern players just don't get books written about them anymore. Even Hall of Famers have a hard time getting a book written about them. I learned my baseball history largely by reading biographies as a kid.
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 10, 2018 at 05:31 PM (#5670262)
I'll have to pick up that book. Perez was my favorite player when I was a teenager, and still is my second favorite all-time player behind Ichiro. I'd be interested to learn more about his early life.
   3. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 10, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5670283)
His bonus? A $2.50 visa and a plane ticket to Tampa.


That's better than a one way ticket to Palookaville.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 10, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5670384)
This should be a very good read (I haven’t read it yet). The story of that generation of Cuban players has some incredible stories to tell. I’ve had the incredible good fortune to have some in depth conversations with Luis Tiant who is everything you would expect him to be. His tales of the experiences of Cuban players is fascinating.
   5. Stormy JE Posted: May 11, 2018 at 05:07 AM (#5670535)
That's better than a one way ticket to Palookaville.
I'll take Palookaville over Tampa during peak hurricane season.
   6. Stormy JE Posted: May 11, 2018 at 05:19 AM (#5670536)
Modern players just don't get books written about them anymore.
The only books sure to sell these days focus on cats and cooking. (Not to be confused with cooking cats.)
   7. McCoy Posted: May 11, 2018 at 07:44 AM (#5670554)
Modern players just don't get books written about them anymore. Even Hall of Famers have a hard time getting a book written about them. I learned my baseball history largely by reading biographies as a kid.

I don't see how that is true. In this day and age there are a ton of books about players. None of them are any good but then again that was also true 50 years ago. A quick Amazon search shows 28 books on Ichiro, 14 on Johnny Damon, 18 on Mike Piazza, 15 on Ryne Sandberg. Now I doubt all of those books deal exclusively about the player in question but all of those players have books about them that do deal with them exclusively.

Now Bartolo Colon does not have a book about him but then again he wouldn't have a book written about him 50 years ago either.
   8. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: May 11, 2018 at 08:30 AM (#5670563)
Surprised at Yunel Escobar's career WAR total.
   9. Rally Posted: May 11, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5670573)
I don't see how that is true. In this day and age there are a ton of books about players.


Yeah. I never noticed a lack of biographies. In this age of easy self publishing even fictional players have published books.
   10. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 11, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5670576)
Now Bartolo Colon does not have a book about him but then again he wouldn't have a book written about him 50 years ago either.

Well nobody's going to write a book about a rookie.
   11. McCoy Posted: May 11, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5670599)
My dad is retired and dealing with Parkinson so he's at home reading books and he's getting into baseball books. Talked to him yesterday and he asks me if I've ever heard of Glory of Their Times. I'm like, yeah, I have the book in a box in your garage along with about 100 or so other baseball books. He apparently likes the books in which the old ballplayers share anecdotes and tell about how their life was back in the day. So I'm heading out there next month to actually pick up all my old stuff and I'll go through the box and see what he wants.
   12. Bruce Markusen Posted: May 11, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5670872)
There are many, many excellent biographies written about ballplayers these days. Just in the last two to three years, there have been terrific books written about Casey Stengel (by Marty Appel), Leo Durocher (by Paul Dickson), John D'Acquisto (by David Jordan), Skip Lockwood's new autobiography, two new bios of Hank Greenberg, a critically acclaimed book about Ty Cobb, and a good one about Dick Allen. That's just off the top of my head.

In the last 10 years, there have probably been more good to great bios written about ballplayers than just about anytime that I can recall, dating back to the 1970s.
   13. Rally Posted: May 11, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5670880)
Checking recent items on my kindle, I've got:

The outstanding career of Bobby Grich (Jeff Mays)
Long Shot (Mike Piazza)
Billy Martin (Bill Pennington)
Fastball John (D'Acquisto and Dave Jordan)
House of Nails (Lenny Dykstra)
   14. DL from MN Posted: May 11, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5670890)
There are many, many excellent biographies written about ballplayers these days. Just in the last two to three years, there have been terrific books written about Casey Stengel (by Marty Appel), Leo Durocher (by Paul Dickson), John D'Acquisto (by David Jordan), Skip Lockwood's new autobiography, two new bios of Hank Greenberg, a critically acclaimed book about Ty Cobb, and a good one about Dick Allen. That's just off the top of my head.

In the last 10 years, there have probably been more good to great bios written about ballplayers than just about anytime that I can recall, dating back to the 1970s.


Modern players. Players who appeared in a video game. You can continue to find books about players who died before I was born but Hall of Famer Frank Thomas only has a couple 20 year old juvenile picture books and a cookbook.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: May 11, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5671021)
But what about Frank Thomas's cats?

Now Bartolo Colon does not have a book about him

Moby Dick.

I kid because I love.
   16. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: May 13, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5671471)
Modern players just don't get books written about them anymore.

Print is dead, man. Kids today, all they know is the Facebook and the Twitter.
   17. John DiFool2 Posted: May 13, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5671481)
So, who will be the 2nd Cuban HoFer? Palmiero was the guy with the best shot, but we all know what happened there.
   18. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 13, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5671552)
So, who will be the 2nd Cuban HoFer? Palmiero was the guy with the best shot, but we all know what happened there.


The problem with the vast majority of Cuban-born players in the last half-century is that they split their careers between two leagues, not reaching MLB until they had already played professionally for several years. This prevented them from building the type of resume of cumulative MLB stats that gets one elected to the HoF.

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