July 23, 2019

OTD July 23

In the Majors, Valdivielso hit .221 in 94 games for Washington in 1955 but still finished 24th in the American League MVP voting thanks to his fielding skills playing Shortstop for the Senators

photo: (l-r) Pedro Ramos, Julio Becquer and José Valdivielso

OTD in 1960, Shortstop José Valdivielso completes the first all-Cuban triple play in Major League Baseball. Kansas City Athletics batter Whitey Herzog is batting against the Washington Senators with runners on 1st and 2nd. Herzog hits a line drive back to Pitcher Pedro Ramos who then tosses over to First Baseman Julio Becquer to double up the runner on 1st. Becquer then throws the ball to Valdivielso who, covering second base, completes the rare triple play to double up the runner who was on 2nd.

All three fielders involved in the triple play were born in Cuba. Valdivielso was born in Matanzas, Cuba in 1934. He was signed to play for the Senators by legendary scout “Papa Joe” Cambria in 1954 while playing independent baseball in Lubbock, Texas. Valdivielso began his professional baseball career with the Rock Hill Chiefs of the Tri-State League. After 26 games with Rock Hill, José was promoted to the Charlotte Hornets of the SALLY League to finish the ’54 season. In 32 games with the Hornets, Valdivielso hit .296. José started the 1955 seasons with Charlotte hitting .295 in 68 games before being promoted to the Major Leagues. In the Majors, Valdivielso hit .221 in 94 games for Washington in 1955 but still finished 24th in the American League MVP voting thanks to his fielding skills playing Shortstop for the Senators.

For his 12-year pro baseball career, Valdivielso hit .251 with 882 hits.


Box score of 1st All-Cuban MLB triple play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WS1/WS1196007230.shtml

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