Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco De Mayo

I wanted to pay tribute to all of the Mexican born players in Cubs history for Cinco De Mayo. I could only find four. Am I missing anyone? Let me know if I am.

Here's what I found:

Jesse Flores

Jesse was signed as a free agent by the Cubs in 1938, and pitched for them in 1942. He appeared in 4 games, pitched 5 innings, struck out six, and gave up one home run before being sold to the Athletics. The A's converted him into a starter and he won 12 games for them the following year. He played in the majors for seven seasons.

Jesse passed away in 1991 at the age of 77.

Hector Torres

The Cubs acquired Hector in a trade with the Houston Astros in 1971. The Cubs gave up their former first round draft pick, Roger Metzger. Metzger started at shortstop for the Astros until 1979.

Torres, on the other hand, had 58 at bats for the Cubs in 1971, hitting .224 and making several errors in the field during his limited opportunities. The following April they traded him along with Hal Breeden to the Expos for the immortal Dan McGinn.

Torres played nine seasons in the major leagues.

Horacio Pina

He was an important part of the 1973 World Champion Oakland A's bullpen when the Cubs acquired him for the 1974 season (for Bob Locker). He seemed to lose his grip of the strike zone when he got to Chicago and walked 28 men in 47 innings. The Cubs traded him to the Angels in July.

Horacio pitched in the big leagues for eight seasons.

Ismael Valdez

He seemed like a steal when the Cubs got Valdez along with Eric Young for Terry Adams in 2000. Valdez had won ten or more games four of the previous five seasons with the Dodgers. Unfortunately, Ismael was bothered with bad blister problems during his short stay in Chicago. After giving up 17 home runs in 67 innings, with a 5.37 ERA, the Cubs had seen enough.

They sent him back to the Dodgers for a minor league prospect, Jamie Arnold.

Valdez later rediscovered his touch a few seasons later and won 14 games for the Padres and Marlins.