Monday, January 17, 2011

#563 Julio Navarro

#563 Julio Navarro
It looks like Julio Navarro missed a spot when he was moussing his hair. Whoops!

Fun facts about Julio Navarro:

-Born on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, Julio signed with the Giants in 1955 at age 19. His signing bonus was a scant $300.

-He struggled with his control in the minors, but showed promise. In 1956, he won the pitching triple crown in the Class D Florida State League, going 24-8 with a 2.16 ERA with the Cocoa Indians. He also showed amazing durability, totaling 246 innings in 22 starts and 27 relief appearances.

-After eight seasons in the Giants organization, Navarro was acquired by the Angels in September 1962 and promoted to the majors for the first time. The 26-year-old had nine relief appearances, compiling a 4.70 ERA but earning a win with 1.1 scoreless innings against the Yankees in his second-ever MLB game.

-Nicknamed "Whiplash" by his teammates, Julio saw action in 57 games for the Halos in 1963, leading the club with 12 saves while going 4-5 with a 2.89 ERA. He kept hitters off-balance with a repertoire that included a sinker, slider, fastball, and screwball. He threw mostly from a sidearm angle, but mixed in an overhand delivery to keep 'em guessing.

-Less than a month into the 1964 season he was traded to the Tigers for Willie Smith. He got off to an awful start with his new club, allowing 14 runs in his first 12.1 innings to earn a demotion to the minors for the next two months. Returning in August, he did a complete 180, putting up a 1.26 ERA in 16 games.

-Julio again spent part of 1965 in AAA, clocking in with a 4.20 ERA in 15 big league games.

-After allowing a walk, a grand slam, and a solo homer to the only three batters he faced in his lone disastrous MLB appearance the following year, Navarro was buried in the minors for four and a half years.

-The Braves finally recalled him in July 1970 and he performed passably with a 4.10 ERA in 26.1 innings. However, he also allowed 7 home runs in 17 games and never returned to the majors. In parts of  six seasons he was 7-9 with 17 saves and a 3.65 ERA.

-His son, Jaime, pitched for four major leagues teams from 1989 through 2000, primarily the Brewers. He was 116-126 with a 4.72 ERA.

-Julio continued pitching in Mexico until 1974. He was also active in the Puerto Rican winter league for 22 seasons, and later scouted for the Cubs (1980-1985) and coached in the minors for the Braves in 1988. He has called Bayamon, P. R. his home for more than four decades.
#563 Julio Navarro (back)


  1. "Whiplash" would not be a nickname that a pitcher would want, implying something like "he got whiplash from watching balls sail out of the park."

  2. Marc - Maybe he was giving the batters whiplash by sneaking the ball by them! We'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

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