Sunday, April 28, 2019

Happy Birthday, Pedro Ramos!

Born on this date in 1935, Pedro Ramos is celebrating his birthday today! The right-hander from Cuba was the very first pitcher (and first winning pitcher!) in Minnesota Twins history, out-dueling Hall of Famer Whitey Ford in the Twins' first game in 1961.

From the time he came up in 1955 for the Washington Nationals/Senators, Ramos was among the best pitchers in the league. His win-loss record would never support that premise, as he would lose 10 or more games in 9 seasons, including every season he pitched in the Washington / Minnesota franchise.

Despite the ugly record, Ramos was an above average starter in 5 seasons, and would regularly be near the top of the AL in strikeouts, finishing as high as 2nd in 1960. He was prone to the homer, giving up a league leading number of homers 3 times and finishing in the top ten 8 times.

Nevertheless, Ramos anchored the Nationals/Senators rotation in the last half of the 50s, and was often the hard luck loser on a team that didn't score many runs for him. Ramos was also a very good fielder, finishing three full seasons without recording an error, while leading the league in Games Started.  He just had some unfortunate timing, coming up a few years ahead of the heavy hitters in MN, missing out on Tony Oliva and Rod Carew, and only getting a small taste of the hitting that Harmon Killebrew would bring in earnest in the 1960s and early 70s.

He'd spend just one season in Minnesota, leaving the franchise that originally signed him for Cleveland before the 1962 season. Ramos would find a second wind as a relief pitcher for New York in 1964 and 65. He came over mid season to the Bronx and saved 8 games in 13 appearances with a 1.25 ERA down the stretch to help the Yankees reach the 1964 World Series.

You can check out his SABR biography here. Ramos just turned 84! Happy Birthday!

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