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Hi Bithorn

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Hiram Gabriel Bithorn Sosa

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Hiram Bithorn was the first Puerto Rican to play in the major leagues. He began his professional career with the 1936 Norfolk Tars and finished sixth in the Piedmont League in wins with a 16-9, 4.22 season. He split 1937 between Norfolk (10-1) and the Binghamton Triplets (7-8, 3.99). He remained with Binghamton in '38 and went 5-2 with a 4.33 ERA and got a brief glance at AAA with the Newark Bears, posting a 7.00 ERA in two outings.

In 1939, the 23-year-old moundsman went 13-14 with a 3.64 ERA for the Oakland Oaks. Moving to the Hollywood Stars, he was 10-17 with a 4.37 ERA in 1940 and 17-15 with a 3.59 ERA the next year, tied for 8th in the Pacific Coast League in wins.

He debuted in the National League with the Chicago Cubs in 1942. In 1943, Bithorn won 18 games while pitching in 249 innings and compiling a 2.60 ERA and leading the league in shutouts. That November, Bithorn joined the Navy. He was discharged in September 1945. Upon his return to the Major leagues in 1946, Bithorn was no longer the same pitcher, and retired from the Major Leagues in 1947. Back with Hollywood, he went 0-1 with a 3.76 ERA. In 1949, Hi went 4-3 with a 5.00 for the Nashville Volunteers and had a 18.00 ERA in limited time with the Oklahoma City Indians. He spent 1951 as an umpire in the Pioneer League.

Bithorn died in 1951, at age 35, when he was shot and killed by a policeman in Mexico. The policeman shot Bithorn in the stomach after a misunderstanding over the selling of a car. After being shot, he was taken to the nearest hospital - which was 84 miles away.

Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico bears his name and was home to the Montreal Expos for 22 games a season in 2003 and 2004.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL Shutouts Leader (1943)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1943)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1943)

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