Friday, August 20, 2010

Dominican Baseball Card #2: Pascual Perez

The Dominican Baseball Guy had never heard of Pascual Perez, but the Dominican Baseball Guy came across this card in his stock pile of baseball cards and with that hair had to put him up as the second Dominican Baseball Guy Dominican Baseball Card post.

Pascual debuted in 1980 as a pitcher with the Pirates, go figure with that hair.  He had a long career, playing all or part of 11 seasons in the big leagues with the Pirates, Braves, Expos, and Yankees.  So the Dominican Baseball Guy is surprised he has never heard of him.  He spent most of his career as a starter, peaking with 15 wins with the Braves in 1983.  Pascual ended his career with 67 big league wins and 63 minor league wins.

Baseballcube.com has the most comprehensive listing of player stats, so check out Pascual's page there.

According to his wikipedia page, Pascual exhibited some typical flare associated with Dominican and Latin players:
One of Pascual's pitches was a slow, high-arcing changeup. Since he was the only one in the majors throwing this pitch at the time, many referred to it as the Pascual pitch, although it is historically referred to as an Eephus pitch.
Pascal first made his trademark peek through the legs to check the runner on first in 1979 in the Dominican League. He put his head through his legs to look at Rafael Landestoy on first base.
Pascual is from San Cristobal, DR.  Not sure what he is doing now, but leave a comment if you have heard anything about his post playing days.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dominican Baseball Card #1: Raul Mondesi

The Dominican Baseball Guy has been inspired by some fellow baseball bloggers to start a weekly post with Dominican baseball cards. Here are some of the favorite baseball card blogs of the Dominican Baseball Guy: Night Owl Cards, Card Board Junkie, A Cardboard Problem, A Pack a Day, The Baseball Card Blog, Cardfu the Sports Card Blog, BDJ610's Topps Baseball Card Blog, Dinged Corners.  Then there are some that cover particular players or teams: Carl Crawford Cards, Cards on Cards, Grand Cards (Curtis Granderson) and one that covers the Dominican Baseball Guy's beloved Texas Rangers, Texas Rangers Cards.  The Dominican Baseball Guy will get a list of these (and other) baseball card blogs up soon.

So, with that said, the Dominican Baseball Guy is starting a weekly post of Dominican Baseball Cards.  This is a great way to show off some cards, and expose people to Dominican Baseball Players from the present and inform people about Dominican players from the past.

The first Dominican Baseball player card to be posted is a 1990 Bowman Raul Mondesi card:

Raul Mondesi was a five tool player and highly touted prospect when he came up with the Dodgers in 1993.  Interesting that Bowman put out a Raul Mondesi card, even though he was only a minor leaguer at the time.  That shows how highly thought of he was as a prospect.  Raul had some very good years with the Dodgers and Toronto, hitting 30 HRs with 80 RBI a few times.  He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1994 and Gold Gloves in 1995 and 1997.  The Dominican Baseball Guy was surprised to see that he only made one All-Star game in 1995.  A lot of people would characterize Mondesi as a player that did not reach his potential, but the Dominican Baseball Guy thinks that 13 years in the big leagues (271 HRs, 860 RBI, .273 lifetime), along with the Gold Gloves and All-Star appearance, is a pretty good career.

Raul retired for good in 2005.  He returned to his hometown of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, and became involved in politics.  He first served in the Dominican Congress, representing his home district of San Cristobal.   He was recently elected Mayor of San Cristobal and will be serving a 6 year term (this is the only article the Dominican Baseball Guy could find on this).  That's right, Raul Mondesi is mayor of his hometown.  This shows how important baseball is in the DR.  This article in the LA Times describes Mondesi's political rise and explains part of the reason former ball players are successful in Dominican politics:
"Retired ballplayers are very useful. And being that baseball is the king of Dominican sports, they use them a lot," said Americo Celado, a columnist for the Dominican website Clave Digital. "But never thinking they can work for the good, submitting project after project in the Congress that will benefit society. Basically, it's to take advantage of their popularity."
Name recognition, after all, is huge in a country where 33% of the population doesn't finish eighth grade, and nearly two-thirds of people don't graduate from high school."
Artists and baseball players have a better chance of getting elected because of their fame. And their money," Celado said. "That's what [the political parties] use them for.
 Look for another Dominican Baseball Card on the 10th, 20th, and 30th of every month!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dominican MLB July 2010 Players of the Month

The Dominican Baseball Guy's Dominican Player of the Month for July 2010 was not a very hard choice.  Jose Bautista shared the AL Player of the month with Delmon Young, so Jose Bautista is the Dominican Baseball Guy Dominican Player of the Month for July 2010.   
Here is the MLB.com press release for the AL July player of the month.  Bautista has had a breakout year for the Blue Jays.  According to another article from the Blue Jays official website: 
In July, Bautista hit .347 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs. His 11 homers were the most in the Major Leagues for the month and his 19 extra-base hits were tied for the most in baseball. Bautista led the American League with a .765 slugging percentage as well.
This is the second time Bautista has led Majors in home runs (12 in May).  He is currently leading the Majors in home runs with 36, and is third in RBI with 88.  Looks like he is on his way to a coveted spot on the Dominican Baseball Guy's all-Dominican Team at the end of the year.  Jose is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Baseball Guy Dominican Pitcher of the Month for July 2010 goes to Rafael Soriano.  Soriano has a 1.77 ERA with 33 saves on the season as the Tampa Bay Rays everyday closer.  He had 11 saves in July and received some votes for the July 2010 AL Pitcher of the month.  Rafael is from San Jose, DR.
On a side note, Wilson Betemit, who won a Dominican Winter League player of the week award last season (as the Dominican Baseball Guy blogged), won the Kansas City Royals player of the Month Award.  Wilson is from Santo Dominigo as well.
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