Julián Ladera (Moreno de Catia La Mar)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 165 lb.
Julián Ladera is a member of the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame. He won over 150 games as a pro.
Ladera debuted in 1949-1950 with Cerveceria Caracas, going 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA that was better than teammate (and major leaguer) Alex Carrasquel's. He fell to 2-5, 5.98 in 1950-1951. He split 1951-1952 between the Navegantes del Magallanes (4.91 in 1 G) and Patriotas de Venezuela (1-3, 5.15). He began his US career in 1952, going 14-14 with a 3.20 ERA for the York White Roses. He tied for 9th in the Interstate League in wins and tied for 5th in losses.
The righty had a 3.35 ERA for the 1952-1953 Patriotas but finished just 6-9, leading the Venezuelan League in losses; he allowed only 87 hits in 110 IP but walked a league-high 75 (3 more than Len Yochim). In 1953, he pitched for York (7-10, 3.76) and the Wichita Indians (1-5, 3.63). He posted a 3-8, 5.51 record for the 1953-1954 Leones del Caracas and tied Yochim and Howie Fox for 4th in the league in losses. The next winter, he pitched for the Patriotas (1-2, 6.27) and the Santa Marta club (2-2, 4.02).
In the summer of '55, Ladera made it to AAA with the Havana Sugar Kings and turned in a solid 7-5, 4.07 campaign. Joining the Industriales de Valencia for 1955-1956, he was the team's top reliever (6-2, 2.41 in 27 G, 52 H in 71 IP). He tied Jim Pearce for 8th in the LVBP in wins and was 5th in games pitched (between Ramón Monzant and Roger Bowman). He split 1956 between the Sugar Kings (0-1) and the Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo (12-12, 2.65).
The Carmen de Uria native was 6-4 with a 3.78 ERA for Valencia in 1956-1957 and 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in the finals. He tied Ross Grimsley Sr. and Eddie Gasque for 6th in wins in the regular season. In Mexico in 1957, he was 17-13 with a 3.53 ERA for the Leones de Yucatán. He was second to Eddie Locke in wins in the Mexican League (one shy of the lead), led in strikeouts (136), was second to Locke in complete games (18) and 4th in ERA (after Locke, Tomas Herrera and Procopio Herrera). He was 6-6 with a 3.70 ERA for the 1957-1958 Industriales and 2-0 in the playoffs. He finished 6th in wins in the regular campaign again.
Ladera was 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA for the 1958 Leones, tying for 6th in wins. He had his best winter in 1958-1959, going 8-3 with a 2.13 ERA for Valencia; he walked 35 in 114 IP, much better than his control in prior years. He tied Monzant and Babe Birrer for 4th in the LVBP in wins and was second to Jim Owens in ERA. He was the ace of the champion team, his third title in four seasons with Valencia. He was 1-2 with a 2.57 ERA in the playoffs. In the shortened 1959-1960 season, he struggled at 2-3, 5.29.
After a summer away from Mexico, he returned in 1960 with the Veracruz Eagle but struggled (9-20, 4.63), leading the Mexican League in losses. He walked 117, second only to Luis Tiant. He was 6th with 46 games pitched. In 1960-1961, he was 7-4 with a 2.51 ERA as Valencia won another title, though he was 0-2 in the playoffs. He tied the great Bob Gibson for 5th in the league in victories. In his final season in Mexico, he was 9-10 with a 5.01 ERA for Veracruz in 1961.
Julián was 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA for the 1961-1962 Industriales and 1-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 1962-1963, when they won their fifth title during his time with them. In 1963-1964, he pitched for both the Industriales (1.69 in 2 G) and the Estrellas Orientales (3-2, 1.63 in 7 G) then moved to Caracas for the playoffs (2 ER in 3 IP). He ended his career with a 1-4, 5.25 record for the 1964-1965 Magallanes club.
Overall, he was 60-63 with a 3.65 ERA in 258 regular-season games in Venezuela (3-5, 2.90 in 14 postseason contests). He retired fourth in league history in wins behind José Bracho, Emilio Cueche and Monzant. Through 2014-2015, he was still among the league's career leaders in wins (12th, between Monzant and Luis Aponte), losses (6th, between Cueche and Les Straker), 6th in complete games (42, between Luis Peñalver and Birrer), 7th in innings (1,113, between Cueche and Juan Pulido), second in walks (539, behind only Bracho) and 12th in strikeouts (542, between Giovanni Carrara and Horacio Estrada).
In 2015, he was inducted into the Venezuelan Hall of Fame.