Xavier Civit Forner
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 175 lb.
Xavier Civit was one of the most successful Spanish baseball players of the 1990s, spending six years in the minor leagues, going 30-25 and reaching high A ball. He has appeared for the Spanish national team in several events from the early 1990s through mid-2000s.
He played with the Spanish Junior National team from ages 14-19.
Civit helped Spain win Bronze at the 1989 European Championship while 16 years old. He hit .355/.394/.484 with 11 RBI in 9 games as a 1B/OF/DH in the 1991 Intercontinental Cup, having almost a quarter of Spain's 45 RBI. He drove in 10 runs in a game against France, the Intercontinental Cup single-game RBI record from 1991-2007. He tied for 5th in the 1991 Cup in RBI. In the 1991 European Championship, he threw a no-hitter against the British national team and Spain got the Bronze.
He played for Spain in the 1992 Olympics, going 1 for 14 with 4 strikeouts at the plate. As a pitcher, he was 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA for the host country, the second-best ERA on the staff. He allowed 18 hits and 8 walks in 13 2/3 IP while only striking out three, and also made three errors at pitcher. He played first base, right field and DH when not pitching. Civit pitched in the 1993 Intercontinental Cup, going 0-3 with 18 runs allowed in 12 innings (17 earned runs). He walked 11 and allowed 16 hits while only striking out three. He led Spain in defeats in the tournament.
Signing with the Montréal Expos, Civit came to the US in 1993. He hit .304/~.343/.363 for the GCL Expos but was only 3 for 30 with 11 strikeouts for the West Palm Beach Expos. He pitched two innings for the latter team, walking four and allowing one run. Had he qualified, he would have ranked 10th in the Gulf Coast League in batting average. Despite that, he never played the field in the minors again, spending the rest of his career in Organized Baseball as a pitcher.
Civit was 5-2 with a 4.07 ERA for the 1994 Vermont Expos, walking 40 in 60 innings. In 1995, he split time between Vermont (3-3, 1 Sv, 2.85) and the Albany Polecats (2-3, 7.62, 29 K, 34 H, 18 BB in 26 IP). Civit pitched for the Delmarva Shorebirds in 1996, going 3-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 34 games. He struck out 57 and walked 20 in 51 innings while allowing 42 hits.
In 1997, the Spanish right-hander had a very good year with the Cape Fear Crocs (4-3, 3 Sv, 3.55, 60 K, 18 BB in 63 IP) and West Palm Beach (3-0, 1.64, 5 H in 11 IP). He concluded his minor league career with the 1998 Jupiter Hammerheads, walking only 3 in 18 innings as his control continued to improve. He had two saves and a 4.50 ERA while recording no decisions. He also pitched briefly for the Columbus RedStixx in the Cleveland Indians chain (0-1, 9.00).
With professional players allowed in international competitions, Civit returned to the Spanish national team with the 1998 Baseball World Cup, going 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA and fanning 14 in 10 1/3 innings, while only walking one as Spain's top starting pitcher. He was just 3 for 20 with a double and 10 strikeouts as a DH-LF. Civit struck out 13 against South Africa, tying for the third-highest game total in the Cup, equal to the likes of Jose Contreras and Koji Uehara.
In the 2003 European Championship, Civit had a magnificent tournament. He pitched a shutout in his only start. At the plate, he hit .394/~.429/.545 and ranked among the tourney leaders in home runs (1, tied for second), runs (5, tied for 10th), RBI (tied for 3rd, behind Bryan Engelhardt and Mario Chiarini), total bases (18, 1st), hits (13, tied for first with Erik Pappas), average (8th) and slugging (7th). He was named the All-Star 1B and MVP. In the 2003 Olympic qualifying tournament, he was 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA while going 6 for 12 with 2 homers and a double. He tied for 5th with 6 RBI and his 2 homers tied Sharnol Adriana for second, one behind Claudio Liverziani.
In the 2004 Spanish league season, Civit was 4-4 with a 1.81 ERA, 7th in the league. Playing for Barcelona, he hit .415/.534/.566 to finish 6th in slugging and average and second to Miguel Erroz in OBP. In 2005, Xavier was 2-2 with a save and 2.92 ERA for FC Barcelona and hit .305/.375/.407. In the 2005 European Championship, he was 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA, leading the tournament in wins and being named to the All-Star team as the right-handed pitcher. He also batted .389/.400/.500 with 6 RBI in six games. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, he went 1 for 9 with six strikeouts; on the mound, he was 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in three outings as Spain's second-best hurler after Carlos Ros.
Civit hit .250/.323/.326 for Sant Boi in the 2007 Spanish league and was 4-2 with a 2.01 ERA (12th in the circuit). He struggled against both Great Britain and the Netherlands in the 2007 European Championship, allowing 8 runs in 2 innings of work. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, he coached for Spain.
He has not played baseball since 2007, but would like to play again someday. Civit now works full time in the Logistics Department of Schneider Electric.
Civit started playing baseball at age 11 in Barcelona. His son Marc also plays baseball, having started at age 3; his father would love to see him play for the Spanish team one day.
Having played baseball in Europe and pro ball in America, Civit considers the life of a minor leaguer "really hard", but fondly remembers his years in the minors as the best moments of his career.
When asked why baseball is not popular in Europe, he explained that he wasn't sure why, but that the sport needs more media coverage in order to become popular.