Friday, January 30, 2009

#125 Juan Pizarro

Juan Pizarro by you.
It's time once again to play America's favorite parlor game, "What's That Bulge in Juan Pizarro's Cheek?". You may think it's a wad of chewing gum or tobacco, but I actually have it on good authority that Juan suffered from a nervous tic that he could only control by sucking on a Pinky ball. Strange but true, except not even a little true.

Fun facts about Juan Pizarro:

-Is the winningest major league pitcher born in Puerto Rico (131 career wins). With 127 W's to date, Javier Vazquez should pass him some time in 2009.

-Signed with the Braves in 1956 and went 23-6 with Jacksonville in the Sally League, hastening his promotion to the big leagues the following year.

-Pitched one and two-thirds innings of relief in both the 1957 and 1958 World Series, giving up three runs total. Did not reach the World Series again in his ensuing sixteen seasons as an active player.

-After a December 1960 trade to the White Sox, Juan hit his stride, going 61-38 with 42 complete games in his first four years in Chicago. He was an All-Star in 1963 and 1964, posting 2.39 and 2.56 earned run averages, respectively.

-Much like Bob Miller, Pizarro did a lot of traveling, pitching for eight different teams (Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Red Sox, Indians, Athletics, Cubs, and Astros). He also had two stints in Pittsburgh for good measure.

-He had Tom Seaver's number in 1971. On August 1, Juan went the distance in a 3-2, six-hit win over Tom Terrific and the Mets. Seaver then won seven straight games before running into Pizarro and the Cubs once again. On September 16, the Puerto Rican hurler again six-hit the Mets, besting the future Hall of Famer by a 1-0 margin. The lone run was a home run by Pizarro!

-His round-tripper off of Seaver was not exactly a fluke. Over his career, Juan hit .202 with 8 home runs and 66 RBI in 658 at-bats. It is worth noting that the game-winning Seaver shot was his last home run.

-Juan is one of only two pitchers to twirl one-hitters for both the White Sox and the Cubs. The other, who I would never guess in a million years, is mustachioed 1980s journeyman Dennis "I Love" Lamp.

-Another Hall of Famer that Pizarro owned was second baseman Joe Morgan: 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in his career.
Juan Pizarro (back) by you.


  1. there is a 'balls in your mouth' joke in here somewhere, but they are all too obvious.

  2. Ohhh, you went there. Well done, sir.

  3. As a personal friend of Terin, I can tell you that he chewed tobacco all his career (several times he spit on my shoes). I can best describe him as a little boy in a man's body. In Puerto Rico he was known as "El Latigo de Ebano" (The Ebony Whip) because of his tremendous fast ball. However, he sports a big scar on his left shoulder where he was operated when with the Braves, causing him to lose some speed.