José Estrada

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José Antonio Estrada González

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 165 lb.

Olympics-Reference page

Biographical Information[edit]

José Estrada was a top Cuban hitter of the 1990s.

Estrada led the 1989-1990 Serie Nacional with 77 hits. He first made the Cuban national team in '91. He hit .412/.453/.605 with 17 runs, 10 steals in 11 tries, 5 doubles, 7 walks and 7 runs in 11 games in the 1991 Intercontinental Cup while playing error-free ball as Cuba's center fielder. He was second in swipes, behind Yaw-Teing Chang, and was third in hits. He led the tourney in runs. He joined Shinichi Sato and Carlos Manriquez as the All-Tournament outfielders. He was 0 for 5 in the Gold Medal game win over Japan.

José led the 1991-1992 season with 32 steals. In the 1992 Olympics, he was 1 for 5 with a walk as a defensive sub in right for Ermidelio Urrutia. He played two innings in that role in the Gold Medal game win over Taiwan.

Estrada hit 5 triples in 1992-1993 to tie Pedro L. Rodríguez for the league lead.

In the 1993 Intercontinental Cup, Estrada batted .419/.468/.488 with 12 runs in 11 games. His 18 hits tied Todd Walker and Ermidelio Urrutia for second behind Omar Linares. He went 3 for 4 with a double and 3 runs out of the leadoff spot in Cuba's 9-2 win over Team USA in the Gold Medal game. He did his damage against Paul Wilson and Danny Graves. He hit .316/?/.526 when Cuba won the 1993 Central American and Caribbean Games.

He again tied Rodriguez for the triple lead in 1993-1994, this time with six. In the 1994 Series Selectivas, the 26-year-old led with 46 runs.

He hit .385/.478/.538 with 12 runs in 10 games in the 1994 Baseball World Cup. He tied for 5th in the event with 15 hits and was also among the leaders in steals. He was 3 for 5 with a RBI as the leadoff man in the Gold Medal game as Japan beat South Korea.

The Matanzas native tied Juan García for the 1994-1995 lead with 7 triples. He starred for Cuba in the 1995 Pan American Games, hit .462 with a tourney-best 18 hits, 14 runs and 2 homers for the Gold Medalists. He was .002 behind average leader Lourdes Gourriel Sr..

He batted .410/.452/.564 in the 1995 Intercontinental Cup with 8 runs and 8 RBI in nine games. He had two assists in center and no errors. He joined Rey Isaac and Yasuyuki Saigo as the All-Star outfielders and helped Cuba take home the Gold. He then went 3 for 3 in the 1996 Haarlem Baseball Week, also won by Cuba.

In the 1996 Olympics, Estrada produced at a .295/.340/.614 rate with 9 runs and 15 RBI in 9 games as Cuba's center fielder. He was 4th in the Atlanta Games in RBI, behind Orestes Kindelan, Omar Linares and Nobuhiko Matsunaka. He led off for Cuba in the Gold Medal game and went 1 for 5 with 3 strikeouts, a double, run and RBI in a 13-9 win over Japan.

José had his last league-leading year in 1996-1997, leading the Serie Nacional with a .391 average, 60 runs and 104 hits to take home MVP honors. He was 8 for 18 with 3 walks, 2 doubles and 7 runs in 8 games in the 1997 World Port Tournament, finishing 5th in average and 4th in OBP as Cuba took the title.

In the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, the veteran fell to .294/.385/.441 with 7 runs in 9 games and one steal in three tries. He went 1 for 5 in Cuba's historic 11-2 loss to Japan in the Gold Medal game, the first tournament they entered and fail to win in 15 years.

Estrada battled to hit .300 in 1997-1998 as age was catching up him at 30. He was with Cuba for the 1999 Baltimore Orioles Cuban National Team Exhibition Series.

Overall for the 1990s, Estrada was 6th in Cuba with a .331 average. He had more runs (464) and triples (36) than any other Cuban batter that decade even though three of Cuba's greatest (Linares, Kindelan and Antonio Pacheco) were active for the entire decade as well.

In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, José was 1 for 6 with a walk and two runs as Yasser Gómez took over in center. He took over in center field for the final two outs of the 5-3 Gold Medal game win over Team USA.

From 1991-2006, Estrada played 40 Intercontinental Cup games, the most of any player (2 ahead of Freddy Zamora and Alberto D'Auria). He also had 60 hits, 10 more than #2 man Linares and 16 steals, 5 more than #2 Chang. He was 5th with 25 RBI, behind Kindelan, Linares, Yobal Duenas and Pacheco.

Through 2009, he was 10th in Cuban history (post-1962) in runs (1,140), 4th in triples (74) and 6th in steals (337, trailing Enrique Esteban Diaz, Eduardo Paret, Victor Mesa, Luis Ulacia and Wilfredo Sanchez). He retired after 18 seasons in Cuba with a batting line of .317/.375/.450, 315 doubles, 127 home runs and 2,005 hits.