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Diomedes Olivo

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Diomedes Antonio Olivo Maldonado

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 195 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Remembered in the USA only as a curiosity, a 41-year-old rookie, Diomedes Olivo was a legend in the Dominican Republic, where he played from 1951 to 1961, winning the most valuable pitcher award six times in that period. One website chooses him as a pitcher on the all-time-best foreigner team (of players who played virtually their entire career outside of the major leagues).

Olivo made his major league debut at age 41, the second oldest rookie, behind Satchel Paige, of all time. When he broke in, he was the second oldest player in the league, behind Mickey Vernon.

He wasn't just a curiosity for major league batters. In 1960, he appeared in 4 games with an ERA of 2.79. In 1962, he appeared in 62 games (only Roy Face had more appearances on the team with 63). Olivo had an ERA of 2.77, a record of 5-1, and 7 saves. He recorded 66 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings. He was by far the oldest player on the Pirates - the second oldest was Harvey Haddix, who was 36.

In 1963, he lost his effectiveness. He was 44, and his teammate Stan Musial on the St. Louis Cardinals was 42. Red Schoendienst, 40, appeared in 6 games. It was the last season for all three of them.

He was undersecretary in charge of sports for the Dominican Republic when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1977. He died only two weeks after his brother Chi-Chi Olivo. He was elected to the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its 2012 class.

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