Site Maintenance is scheduled for Wednesday July 24th. The Bullpen will be set to read-only during this time. More updates to follow on the 24th.

Diomedes Olivo

From BR Bullpen

Diomedes Antonio Olivo Maldonado

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 195 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Remembered in the USA only as a curiosity, a 41-year-old rookie, Diomedes Olivo was a legend in the Dominican Republic, where he played from 1951 to 1961, winning the most valuable pitcher award six times in that period. One website chooses him as a pitcher on the all-time-best foreigner team (of players who played virtually their entire career outside of the major leagues). He had previously helped the Dominican national team to a Silver Medal in the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games, their first appearance in baseball in the Central American and Caribbean Games. He was 2-0 with a 0.99 ERA in the event.

Olivo made his major league debut at age 41, the second oldest rookie of all time, behind only Satchel Paige. When he broke in, he was the second oldest player in the league, behind Mickey Vernon.

He wasn't just a curiosity for major league batters. In 1960, he appeared in 4 games with an ERA of 2.79. In 1962, he appeared in 62 games (only Roy Face had more appearances on the team with 63). Olivo had an ERA of 2.77, a record of 5-1, and 7 saves. He recorded 66 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings. He was by far the oldest player on the Pirates - the second oldest was Harvey Haddix, who was 36.

In 1963, he lost his effectiveness. He was 44, and his teammate Stan Musial on the St. Louis Cardinals was 42. Red Schoendienst, 40, appeared in 6 games. It was the last season for all three of them.

He managed the Panamanian national team in the 1971 Amateur World Series. He was undersecretary in charge of sports for the Dominican Republic when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1977. He died only two weeks after his brother Chi-Chi Olivo. He was also the father of Gilberto Rondon, who was the fruit of a relationship with a Puerto Rican woman he met while playing for the Senadores de San Juan in the winter of 1952-53. He was elected to the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its 2012 class. In his native country, he is usually called "Guayubín" Olivo, after his hometown.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Rory Costello: "Diomedes Olivo", in Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin, ed.: Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 167-172. ISBN 978-1-93359-948-9

Related Sites[edit]