Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#557 Jose Santiago

#557 Jose Santiago
Before I even get to the body of this post, here's a BONUS! Fun Fact: this gentleman is one of three pitchers in MLB history named Jose Santiago. The first pitched for the Indians and Athletics from 1954-1956. Our guy is the second. The third took the mound for the Royals, Phillies, Indians, and Mets between 1997 and 2005.

Fun facts about Jose Santiago:

-Jose "Palillo" (Spanish for "toothpick", owing to his slight frame as a child) Santiago was born in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico. He signed with the Kansas City Athletics as an amateur free agent in 1959.

-After posting his third straight minor league season with double-digit wins, he earned a late-season debut with the A's in 1963 and scooped up a relief win with a scoreless inning in his first outing.

-Pitching primarily out of the bullpen, he scuffled the next year in his first full season (0-6, 4.73 ERA).

-After tossing only five innings in 1965, Jose was sold to the Red Sox. He was slotted into the starting rotation and responded with a solid 3.66 ERA, seven complete games, and a career-high 119 strikeouts, but his won-lost record was a hard-luck 12-13. Still, he was chosen as the ninth-place Red Sox' Pitcher of the Year.

-Bumped to a swingman role in 1967, he came on strong for the American League champion BoSox, putting up a 12-4 record with five saves and a 3.59 ERA. He seemed to get stronger down the stretch, with a 5-0 record in September that included two straight victories against the second-place Tigers.

-In the 1967 World Series, Boston called on Santiago to start twice and relieve in one other game. Though he was charged with two losses, he battled in Game One, allowing only two runs in seven innings and providing his team's lone run with a solo homer against Hall of Famer and eventual Series MVP Bob Gibson. He became the only pitcher in World Series history to lose a game in which he hit a four-bagger.

-The righthander was having a career year in 1968 (9-4, 2.25 ERA, 7 CG, All-Star selection) when an elbow injury ended his season and shortened his career. He appeared in just 18 games over the next two seasons, allowing 16 earned runs in 19 innings.

-In parts of eight seasons, Jose was 34-29 with a 3.74 ERA. He completed 16 of his 65 starts.

-In 1979, he managed the Puerto Rico Boricuas in the ill-fated Inter-American League, a AAA loop that consisted of six teams in the U.S. and Latin America. The Boricuas were 16-39 before folding in June; shortly thereafter, the entire league went under just three months into its inaugural season.

-Jose still lives in Puerto Rico with his wife Edna; the couple met in Kansas City during his time with the A's. They have four sons, one of whom (Arnold) was an infielder in the Indians and Cubs organizations in the 1990s. has been active in baseball in his homeland for decades as a little league instructor and executive, broadcaster, general manager, and field manager.
#557 Jose Santiago (back)


  1. Kevin--I wonder if the A's have ever considered wearing these '65 threads as a throw-back...

  2. So, every Jose Santiago played some of their career in Kansas City? That's almost as crazy as the whole Dave Roberts thing LOL

  3. Brox - They need to wear them against the Padres in an interleague All-Yellow Turn Back the Clock game.

    Devon - I didn't even make that strange!