José Saint-Claire

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José Luis Saint-Claire Cábelo (Pepé Lucas)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

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Biographical Information[edit]

José Saint-Claire played and managed in numerous Latin American countries (Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia). Known as Pepé Lucas, he is the brother of Guigui Lucas and Papito Lucas. [1]

Saint-Claire played for the Dominican national team in the 1941 Amateur World Series. [2] In the 1942 Amateur World Series, he won Silver with the Dominicans. [3] He was with the Dominicans for a Bronze in the 1943 Amateur World Series. [4]

Pepé hit .254/?/.358 for the Patriotas de Venezuela in the 1946-1947 Venezuelan Winter League. He tied Guillermo Vento and Ramón Fernández for 4th with 8 doubles. [5] He split the summer of 1947 between the Rojos del Águila de Veracruz and Pericos de Puebla, hitting .231/~.314/.288. [6] In 1948, the catcher batted .256/~.320/.365 for the Industriales de Monterrey, followed by .315/~.416/.384 for them in 1949.

The Santo Domingo native fell to .196/~.284/.247 in reduced time his third and final season with Monterrey. In 1950-1951, playing for the Santurce Crabbers, he hit the most famous home run in Puerto Rican baseball annals. With the finals down to the 7th game, the score was 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th with two outs. He went deep off the Caguas Criollos for the winner in front of a record crowd of 16,700. [7]

He served as the first manager of the Leones del Escogido, when the Dominican League started in 1951; he went 25-29 and would be replaced the next year by Hall-of-Famer Martin Dihigo. In '52, he returned to the Mexican League, hitting .307/~.387/.348 for the Charros de Jalisco.

In the 1953 Caribbean Series, he was the starting first baseman for the champion Santurce team, going 3 for 21 with 2 steals, 3 runs and a RBI; his infield mates were Junior Gilliam, Bus Clarkson and Vic Power. [8] He hit .330/.371/.531 with 37 RBI in 53 games for the 1954 Mexico City Red Devils; had he qualified, he would have been in the top 10 in batting average. He was 0 for 2 for Santurce in the 1955 Caribbean Series; George Crowe started at 1B. [9]

Saint-Claire hit .352 for the Saraperos de Saltillo in 1956, finishing in the Central Mexican League top 10 in average. He batted .373 the next year, 6th in the league (between Silvio Meza and Ramiro Caballero and managed them for part of 1957, in between Domingo Santana and Gustavo Bello. [10] He succeeded Pete Reiser at the helm of Escogido in 1960 and led them to a title (29-19). After falling to 29-28 in the league's next season (1963-1964), he was replaced by Danny Ozark.

He also had played and managed in Colombia. [11] In 1972, he was named the best Dominican first baseman of all time; in 1974, he was named to the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame. [12]