Juan Delis

From BR Bullpen

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Juan Francisco Delis

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Signed by the Washington Senators before the 1952 season, Juan Delis was one of the many Cuban-born players of the era who played for the Senators. The 23-year-old rookie was assigned to the class B Danville Leafs after signing and played the hot corner and shortstop spots during his first season, appearing in 66 games and hitting for a .298 average.

Juan played for the Havana Cubans of the Florida International League in 1953, appearing in 131 outings and again hitting well, with a .287 average. 1954 saw him in the International League with the Havana Sugar Kings where his average fell off to .260 in 128 games.

1955 was up next and it held Juan's first and only chance at the major leagues. He started the season with the Washington Senators and hit .189 in 54 games in his role as a third baseman, outfielder and pinch hitter. This set Juan back a bit and he spent 1956 back with the Sugar Kings, playing 93 games and hitting .270.

Delis spent nine more active seasons in the high minors, from 1957 through 1966, but never made it back up. It got him acquainted with the Seattle Rainiers, Savannah Reds and six seasons with the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League where he probably had his best season in the minors when he hit .362 in 119 games in 1962. Juan's last season in pro ball came in the 1966 Mexican Southeast League. He was 38 years old when he finished his tour.

To show that some old baseball players just don't quit, Juan resurfaced in the United States some three decades later as a coach of the Cuban national team which won the championship of the World Amateur Baseball Tournament. It is not clear which event is meant; he did coach for them when they won the 1984 World Junior Championship in Canada.

He was the penultimate former major leaguer still living in Cuba after the revolution; only Connie Marrero outlived him.


Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

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