Raul Sánchez (sanchra01)
Raul Guadalupe Sánchez Rodriguez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 150 lb.
- Debut April 17, 1952
- Final Game May 17, 1960
- Born December 12, 1930 in Marianao, Cuba
- Died June 30, 2002 in Pembroke Pines, FL USA
Cuban-born righthander Raul Sánchez was signed before the 1951 season by the Washington Senators as an amateur free agent. After a 12-12 record with a 2.66 ERA in a split season with the Big Spring Broncs of the Longhorn League and the Havana Cubans of the Florida International League in 1951, he made his major league debut with the Senators on April 17, 1952. Sanchez hurled a shutout for his first big league victory.
Sanchez spent several seasons back in Havana pitching for the Havana Sugar Kings of the International League after being sold to the Havana franchise by the Senators on March 18, 1954. Raul spent two years with the Havana club after that transaction before being obtained by the Cincinnati Redlegs as part of a minor league working agreement. He went go 3-2 with 5 saves in 38 games out of the Redlegs bullpen in 1957.
Sanchez was with with the Cincinnati Reds again briefly in 1960 and in one game against the Philadelphia Phillies triggered a wild brawl when he hit three opponents with pitches in the same inning. This was Raul's final trip to the major leagues and he finished with a 5-3 record with a 4.62 ERA in 49 appearances.
After the 1960 season, Raul dropped back into the minors. He pitched until 1963 and wound up his twelve-year (1951-1963) minor league run with a 92-78 record that included six double-digit win years. Sanchez carried a 3.36 ERA while pitching 1,468 innings. His strongest season came in 1959 when he went 11-5 with a 3.10 ERA for the Havana club.
A Sporting News article from 1957 reported that Raul owned a great sinker and a good forkball. In another Sporting News article from the same year Clyde Sukeforth alleged that he threw a spitball, adding that he was a little clumsy with it. Yet another Sporting News article reports that his use of the spitball was so blatant while pitching against the Montreal Royals in the 1956 International League that in one game the bat boy for the Havana club brought a bucket of water to the mound for his greater convenience.