From BR Bullpen
Efraín García Santiago (Cano)
- Height 6' 0", Weight 190 lb.
Efraín García was a long-time member of the Puerto Rican national team, which he later managed. He never played professionally but competed against many top athletes in international tourneys.
García played for Puerto Rico in the 1986 Amateur World Series. In the 1987 Pan American Games, he went 19 for 38 with 3 doubles, a triple and 4 homers, driving in 16 runs. He helped Puerto Rico win a Bronze Medal and almost upset the Cuban national team in the semifinals. García was second in the Games in average to Omar Linares and third to Orestes Kindelan and Tino Martinez in RBI, outhitting several future major leaguers.
Efraín hit .409/.449/.455 with 8 runs and 10 RBI in 11 games in the 1988 Baseball World Cup. Tino Martinez made the All-Star team at first base instead due to better power hitting. García stayed with Puerto Rico for the 1988 Olympics, helping them win Bronze. He was also with the country for the 1989 Intercontinental Cup.
In the 1990 Baseball World Cup, the 28-year-old hit .351/.385/.568 with 7 RBI in 9 games. He was named the Outstanding Defensive Player, unusual for a first baseman (he had 85 putouts, 6 assists and no errors in 9 games) but failed to make the All-Star team as Lourdes Gourriel hit better.
García hit .350/.381/.400 in the 1992 Olympics but amazingly only scored one run and drove in none in six games; the defensive star of the 1992 World Cup also made 3 errors at first. In the 1994 Baseball World Cup, Efraín batted .448/.484/.724 with 8 RBI in 7 games. He finally made the All-Star team at first base in a Baseball World Cup.
After his playing career ended, García became a manager. He led Puerto Rico to the title in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup.