From BR Bullpen
Félix Manuel Cano Riduejo
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 203 lb.
Félix Cano was a long-time star in Spanish baseball, spending two decades as a player for the Spanish national team.
Cano was with Spain by the 1987 European Championship, when they won a Bronze Medal. In the 1988 Baseball World Cup, he hit .240/.321/.320 as a DH-1B; he led a weak Spanish offense in OPS but failed to drive in or score a run in 10 games, in part due to the lack of support. It was Spain's first appearance in an international event which was not solely European. He picked two more Bronzes, at the 1989 European Championship and 1991 European Championship. In the 1991 Intercontinental Cup, he batted .310/.412/.517 with Spain's lone home run and 9 runs in 9 games. He led Spain in slugging and tied for their most runs. He also pitched twice and led the staff in innings (14 2/3) and ERA (3.86, almost 3 points better than anyone else), allowing only 9 hits.
Cano represented the host Spaniards in the 1992 Olympics, as their main 1B. He was just 2 for 17 at the plate, with 3 walks, but both of his hits were homers, and he drove home six. His grand slam off Jesus I. Feliciano in the 6th inning against Puerto Rico helped Spain rally from a 2-0 deficit en route to a 7-6 win, their only win of the Olympic Games. USA Today nicknamed Cano "the Babe Ruth of Spanish baseball." Like Ruth, Cano continued to pitch, going 0-2 with a 12.27 ERA in the Olympics, with 11 walks and 12 hits in 7 1/3 IP.
Cano won his 4th Bronze Medal at a European Championship in 1997, going 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA and also driving in seven. He hit a miserable .120/.120/.160 in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup with as many errors (1) as runs (1); he allowed one run (unearned) in one inning pitched as well. Playing first base full-time in the 1998 Baseball World Cup, Cano hit .192/.207/.192 for Spain.
Cano batted .333/.450/.333 in the 1999 European Championship and had four assists and no errors in five games at first base; he was named the tourney's Outstanding Defensive Player, an unusual honor for a first baseman. He allowed two runs in eight innings, fanning six in his lone start.
Félix missed the 2001 and 2003 European Championships and 2005 Baseball World Cup, but made an impression in the 2005 European Championship. The 38-year-old had six RBI in 7 games and Spain picked up its 5th Bronze Medal of his career. He made the All-Tournament team at DH.
Cano hit only .224/.394/.329 for the 2004 Division Honor season, playing for Viladecans; it is the first season for which statistics are available during Cano's career, his glory days behind him. He batted .253/.383/.333 for the 2006 Viladecans. Cano hit .310/.509/.452, when his teammates included his son, Felix Cano Jr.
Cano was a backup 1B for Spain in the 2007 European Championship, 20 years after he had first won a Bronze Medal for them. He picked up his 6th Bronze but was 0 for 3 at the plate. At age 40, he was not the team's old-timer as Cuban Remigio Leal was with them. The next oldest, though, was 34-year-old Xavier Civit.
Cano batted a meek .175/.322/.206 for the 2008 Viladecans club. He is a player/coach for the team in 2009 and coached for Spain in the 2009 Baseball World Cup. He coached for Spain in the 2009 European Junior Championship - the roster included his son. He coached for Spain in the 2010 European Championship.