Friday, January 30, 2015

The Negro League baseball history fact for today - Sandy Amoros

Born January 30, 1930 in Matanzas, Cuba, Edmundo “Sandy” Amoros could hit a baseball with surprising power for his 5’7 ½”, 170 pounds physical stature.  He played Negro League baseball in 1950 with the New York Cubans.  The team went out of business after the season and Amoros played in Caribbean baseball leagues until signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1952.  The left handed outfielder hit over .300 and showed power in his batting stroke while in the team’s minor league system.  However, after integration it is believed Major League teams had a “quota” on the number of African Americans to have on their rosters.  With Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Joe Black, and Jim Gilliam already wearing Dodgers’ uniforms, the team kept Amoros in the minor leagues.
When He did make it to the Major Leagues in 1954, Amoros continued to exhibit the power batting stroke not expected from a player his size.  Although not in the line-up every day, he hit 10 home runs in 1955 and 16 in 1956.
It was Amoros’ defense, however, that engraved him a place in Dodger history.  From 1947 – 1954, the Dodgers had lost four World Series to the New York Yankees.  In the deciding Game Seven of the 1955 World Series, the Dodgers led 2 – 0 in the bottom of the sixth inning; but the Yankees had the tying runs on base with no outs.  Yankees’ catcher Yogi Berra hit a line drive headed towards the Yankee Stadium left field corner that appeared it was going to be a game tying double.  However Amoros; who had been put in the game for defensive purposes when the inning started, out ran the ball and caught it.  He quickly threw it back to the infield to complete a double play.  Amoros’ play killed the Yankees’ scoring threat and the Dodgers held on to win the game and be 1955 World Series Champions.

Due to a salary dispute, the Dodgers released Amoros before the 1958 season.  After short stints with his former club in 1959 and in 1960 with the Detroit Tigers, he played the remainder of his career with teams in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Sandy Amoros’ last Major League appearance was October 2, 1960 when he was put in as a pinch runner while with the Detroit Tigers.  Who was the Tiger player he pinch ran for that game?