Fernando Elizondo Rodriguez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
Fernando Elizondo played for 17 seasons in the Mexican League and later managed.
Elizondo debuted in 1973 with the Ebano Rojos, hitting .253/.300/.321. He led Mexican Center League shortstops in both errors (24) and assists (220). He split 1974 between Parras (.330/.351/.474, 5th in the MCL in average but again leading shortstops with 24 errors) and the Mexican League's Saraperos de Saltillo (4 for 24). In his last MCL season, 1975, he batted .324/.361/.403 for Cortazar. He tied for the most doubles (20), was 10th in average and led shortstops in fielding percentage (.947), putouts (107) and assists (289).
Elizondo had trouble adjusting to Mexico's top league, though. He hit only .198/.244/.235 in 34 games for the 1976 Saraperos and went 9 for 52 with a triple, homer, 8 walks and 16 whiffs in 1977. Moving to the Poza Rica Oilers, he hit .241/.317/.324 in 1978. He then went over to the Veracruz Eagle. His playing time increasing each year, he remained below the Mendoza Line. He hit .181/.241/.211 in 1979, .173/.220/.209 in 1980 and .179/.227/.214 in 1981, when he only had 8 extra-base hits and 45 runs produced in 128 games. He had 238 putouts in '81, leading LMB shortstops.
In 1982, the 26-year-old infielder improved to .235/.274/.269 for Veracruz. He hit .255/.303/.307 in '83, topping a 600 OPS for the first time as a starter in the Mexican league. His 432 assists were 43 more than any other league shortstop that season. The next year, his last with Veracruz, he batted .250/.266/.296. Elizondo moved back to Saltillo for 1985, when the league went to a much livelier ball, and his line jumped to .306/.370/.418; he scored 88 runs that year after a previous high of 52.
Fernando batted .306/.358/.400 in 1986 and banged out 32 doubles, a career high. In '87, he batted .323/.361/.381 for the Puebla Parrots, scoring 84 times. He fell off to .279/.328/.370 between two clubs in 1988. With the '89 Monclova Steelers, the veteran put up a .281/.318/.369 line with a career-high 60 RBI. He played for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes in 1990 and hit .323/.379/.400. He ended up with Aguascalientes the next year, hitting .306/.333/.528 in 36 games.
Overall, Elizondo played 1,516 games in the Mexican League, hitting .264/.315/.336 with 649 runs, 1,397 hits, 209 doubles, 30 triples, 38 homers, 474 RBI and 381 walks. He stole 40 bases in 110 tries.
Elizondo managed Saltillo for part of 2003 and the Petroleros de Minatitlán in 2008. He coached for the 2011 Saraperos.
- The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros
- 1974-1985 Baseball Guides