Ronnie Camacho

From BR Bullpen

Ronaldo Camacho Duran
(The Rock)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5'9", Weight 170 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Ronnie Camacho broke into pro baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals farm system in 1953. In '54, he hit 16 home runs for the Fresno Cardinals of the California League, pretty good for an 18-year old second baseman. He kept bouncing around the system the next year, playing ball in leagues classified C, B and A (two different A leagues). Not finding room for the young slugging infielder, the Cards let him go to his native Mexico to join the Mexican League. In 1956 he played for the New Laredo Owls but was unimpressive - .231/~.319/.331. In '57, he split the year between the South Atlantic League and the Mexican League, hitting .305 in his short time in the Liga. He would never get a chance again in the U.S.

In 1958 Camacho began to emerge as a star in Mexico. Still just 22, he cranked out 20 homers and drove in 80, slugging .479. He fell to .229 the next season but hit another 23 long balls, sixth in the Liga.

In 1960 Camacho moved to first base upon joining the new Puebla Parrots (New Laredo ceased play after '59 - the team may have transferred - I'm unclear on this point). His homer total fell to 10 but he hit .290 and drew 72 walks. After playing for Veracruz and Mexico City in '61, he returned to Puebla for the rest of the '60s, where he formed a two-Camacho homer duo with Moises Camacho.

1962 was Camacho's first big year, as he led the Liga in homers (25). He hit .290/~.407/.529 that year, the first season he topped a .500 slugging - he would reach the level in 4 of the next 5 seasons. In '63, Camacho repeated as a home run king (39) and also led in runs (108) and RBI (108) in his greatest power-hitting season. He hit .289/~.407/.584. That year Puebla won their only title, thanks in large part due to Camacho's bat. In '64, he slipped to .278 with an OBP around .391 and a slugging of .536. He hit another 35 homers and drove in 114 runners, third in both stats behind Hector Espino and Bobby Prescott. In 1965 Camacho drew 103 walks to lead the league (none intentionally - he usually averaged about 10 IBB at this time) and hit 25 homers - .264/~.394/.471.

In 1966, Camacho kept up his fine hitting. The 30-year old hit his 230th career home run, breaking Angel Castro's Liga record. He had his first .300 season (.314, a career high), posted a .455 OBP (third behind Espino and Ellie Hendricks, a .589 slugging (third behind Espino and Prescott), scored a career-high and league-best 109 runs, drove in 114 (8 behind Prescott), hit 30 homers (third) and walked a career-high 120 times (tops in the league). It was probably his best all-around season. That winter, he hit 18 homers for Guaymas and was named MVP of the Mexican Pacific League.

In '67, he slipped to .289/~.417/.501 with 20 HR and 96 walks. In '68, his power vanished as he only hit 9 homers, though he still drew 94 walks. In 1969 he had his last great season. In his final year for Puebla, he batted .303/~.419/.493 with 24 HR, a career-high 116 RBI and 98 walks. He led the league in RBI for the second time that year, giving him two run titles, two RBI titles, two walk titles and two RBI titles for the '60s.

Camacho slipped to .241 with 15 HR and 73 BB for the Yucatan Lions in 1970 then played for three teams in the next five years, never hitting more than 5 homers as he faded away.

In the Mexican League, Camacho had hit .272/~.396/.460 with 317 HR and 1,273 RBI. Through 2000 and despite spending his first few years in the US, Camacho ranked 11th in the Liga in career games (2,204), 8th in runs (1,190), 7th in RBI (1,273), 5th in homers (317, at that point behind only Espino, Nelson Barrera, Andres Mora and Alejandro Ortiz), 1st in walks (1,411, a record he still holds) and 8th with 3,227 total bases.

Camacho managed 6 Mexican League teams in the '70s and also was the skipper of two Mexican Pacific League pennant-winners ('66-'67 and '73-'74). He won one batting title in the LMP and hit .259 with 139 homers there.

In 1983 Camacho was elected into the Salon de la Fama.

Salon de la Fama site page for Camacho

Sources: "The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics" by Pedro Treto Cisneros, Viva Beisbol! newsletter by Bruce Baskin, Jamie Marshall

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Playoffs Notes
1971 Broncos de Reynosa Mexican League 47-100 12th
1972 Bravos de Reynosa Mexican League -- -- replaced by Jorge Fitch
1973 Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz Mexican League 7th Lost in 2nd round replaced Mario Ariosa
1974 Tigres de México Mexican League 15th replaced Jose Luis Garcia
1975 Rieleros de Aguascalientes Mexican League 51-85 16th
1976 Alijadores de Tampico Mexican League 8th replaced Benny Valenzuela
1977 Tigres de México Mexican League 11th replaced Jose Luis Garcia
1978 Dorados de Chihuahua Mexican League 60-89 15th
1979 Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz Mexican League -- -- replaced by Miguel Sotelo

Related Sites[edit]