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Pablo García (minors01)

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Pablo García Álvarez

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pablo García played for the Cuban national team and had a productive pro career between Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and the USA.

García hit .278 for Cuba in the 1944 Amateur World Series and his two triples tied Pedro Miranda for the lead despite Cuba's withdrawal due to complaints over the pro-Venezuelan umpiring (Mexico withdrew for the same reason). [1] It was one of Cuba's most diverse teams to that point in terms of black players like Pablo. [2]

He turned pro in 1946, hitting .403 and slugging .532 with 23 runs in 21 games for the Navegantes del Magallanes. In the first Venezuelan League season, he had the best average of anyone with double-digit games, .025 ahead of Carlos Ascanio; among those trailing him were players like Roy Campanella and Sam Jethroe. In slugging, he trailed Marvin Williams and Campanella. He tied Ascanio for 8th in runs and tied for 8th in extra-base hits (8). [3]

The Ranchuelo native made his Cuban Winter League debut that winter, going 1 for 12 as a backup outfielder for Habana. [4] Going to the Mexican League for the summer of 1947, he hit .291/.395/.423 for the Industriales de Monterrey with 71 walks and 78 runs in 116 games. One presumes he was among the walk leaders. [5]

García was the starting third baseman for the Leones that won the 1947-1948 Cuban Players League, hitting .259/?/.326. He was 7th in the loop with 37 RBI, between Danny Gardella and Red Steiner. [6] In 1948, he batted .332/.465/.515 for Monterrey with a career-high 11 homers. He drew 72 walks, stole 17 bases, scored 72 times and drove in 68 in 87 games. He tied Barney Serrell and Ángel Castro for fourth in home runs, was third in RBI (after Roberto Ortiz and Castro) and made the top ten in average, tied with Nap Reyes. [7]

At age 25, he hit .257 and slugged .301 while starting at third for Habana. [8] In 1949, his batting line for the Industriales was .298/.453/.470 with 87 walks, 78 runs and 16 steals in 86 games. He very likely led the league in walks and may have set the LMB record; prior to 1956, no one had drawn more than 93 walks. [9] Moving back to the outfield for Habana in the winter of 1949-1950, he hit .292 with a .375 slugging, backing up Pedro Formental, Don Lenhardt and Don Thompson. [10]

Pablo hit .345/.454/.502 for Monterrey in 1950, with 27 doubles, 9 triples and 62 walks in 89 games. He led the league in doubles. [11] He was 5th in average, between Castro and Santos Amaro and tied for 6th in RBI (52). [12] He split the winter between Habana and Cienfuegos, hitting .297 and slugging .396. He was third in the CWL with nine steals, trailing Silvio García and Minnie Miñoso and was 6th with 37 RBI, between Formental and Silvio García. [13]

In 1951, he hit .320/.413/.550 with career highs in doubles (28), triples (11) and RBI (72). He led the LMB in doubles, tied Agustín Bejerano for the triple lead, tied for 10th in homers (8) and was third in RBI (7 shy of co-leaders Castro and René González [14] Starting in the outfield that winter for Cienfuegos, he hit .277 and slugged .420. He tied for fifth in the CWL with four triples and tied Bert Haas and Spider Jorgensen for fourth with five home runs. [15]

The veteran's 1952 batting line was .294/.402/.436 and he legged out eight triples to tie Pedro Orta and Jesús Díaz for the Mexican League lead. [16] He fell to the Cienfuegos bench that winter as Walt Moryn, Jim Pendleton, Gino Cimoli and Oscar Sierra saw most of the action in the outfield. He was only 11 for 54 with a double, triple, one run and five RBI. [17]

García slashed .310/.398/.427 for Monterrey in 1953 and failed to reach double-digit steals for the first time in his LMB career. It also ended his seven-year run with the Industriales [18] He got more time for Cienfuegos in 1953-1954 as their #4 outfielder behind Chuck Diering, Lloyd Merriman and Sierra. He hit .204 and slugged .282. [19] He did not play in the Mexican League that summer.

He started 1954-1955 slowly with Cienfuegos, going 2 for 9. [20] He then returned to Venezuela, where he had begun his pro career eight years prior. He was 2 for 6 for Magallanes and hit .350/?/.504 for Santa Marta, driving in 29 runs in 36 games. He was second in the league in RBI (7 behind Bob Lennon, who played 13 more contests), tied Hank Foiles and Don Buddin for fourth in doubles (10), was second in average for those with 100+ AB (.003 behind Hal Bevan) and was second in slugging for those with 100+ AB (.024 behind Dave Pope) for a resurgent season. [21] He joined Lennon, George Wilson and Dalmiro Finol in Magallanes' outfield for the 1955 Caribbean Series and went 6 for 12 with three triples and four RBI. He led the Series in triples and had a better average than leader Rocky Nelson but did not play enough to qualify (he was presumably close, as Nelson had five more at-bats). [22]

That earned him his only brief look in US pro ball, but the 32-yar-old was only 3 for 28 with 4 walks, 2 steals, a double and a homer in ten games for the Charleston Senators. He then returned to Mexico with the Leones de Yucatán and hit .316/.420/.421 in 67 games, fielding .921 at the hot corner. He was 1 for 8 that winter for Almendares to end his CWL career. [23] He ended his career by batting .267/.374/.342 as a OF-3B for the 1956 Leones. He drew 78 walks, second in the Mexican League, 15 behind Felipe Montemayor.

García had batted .306/.418/.450 in 778 LMB games, with 556 runs, 56 triples, 467 RBI, 541 walks and 114 steals while only striking out 259 times. [24] Through 2000, he was tied for 56th in league history in three-baggers (with Luis Lora and Jose Ortiz), tied for 74th in steals (with Roberto Méndez and Alejandro Ortiz) and 91st in walks (between Leobardo Guerrero and Jesus Abrego. This is despite his having played less than a decade in Mexico. [25] He had hit .370/?/.510 with 42 runs and 43 RBI in 59 games in the LVBP. [26] Through the 2021-2022 season, he had the third-highest average among players with 200+ AB (after Odubel Herrera and Tommy Helms) and 50th-best slugging (between Wally Moon and Rangel Ravelo. [27]

One may wonder how well Pablo would have done if his circumstances had been slightly different. Had he come up in the 1920s, when there were two Cuban teams in the Negro Leagues, he almost definitely would have had a shot in the black majors. Had he been lighter-skinned and a few years ago, one could picture him as part of the Washington Senators' Cuban influx during World War II. Had he come up a few years later, when there were more opportunities for black Latinos in the US pro game, he would have had a much better shot at The Show (rather than ten games at AAA when his career was almost over). On the other hand, had he been born 15 years later, he might have wallowed in the relative obscurity (to US fans) of the Cuban Serie Nacional. He clearly competed well with major leaguers in three different countries.

Sources[edit]

  1. A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman, pg. 197
  2. ibid., pg. 165
  3. Pelotabinaria
  4. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History by Jorge Figueredo, pg. 281
  5. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros, pg. 145
  6. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 300
  7. Pat Doyle Professional Baseball Player Database
  8. ''Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 310-311
  9. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, pg. 40 and 145
  10. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 329
  11. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, pg. 29 and 145
  12. Pat Doyle Professional Baseball Player Database
  13. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 341-344
  14. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, pg. 29-30 and 145; Pat Doyle Professional Baseball Player Database
  15. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 353-357
  16. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, pg. 30 and 145
  17. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 372
  18. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, pg. 145
  19. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 384
  20. ibid., pg. 400
  21. Pelotabinaria
  22. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 401-403
  23. ibid., pg. 426
  24. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, pg. 145
  25. ibid., pg. 47-48
  26. Pelotabinaria
  27. ibid.

Related Sites[edit]