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Rene Valdez

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Rene Valdez Gutierrez born Rene Gutierrez Valdes (El Látigo)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 175 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Cuban born Rene Valdez after two good seasons (1952-53) with the Juarez Indios of the Arizona-Texas League, where he chalked up 38 wins with just 23 losses, was signed as an amateur free agent by the Brooklyn Dodgers before the 1954 season. The right-hander would show strong again in 1954, going 20-5 with a 2.67 ERA in a combined effort for the Bakersfield Indians of the California League and the Pueblo Dodgers of the Western League.

Undoubtedly these strong showings encouraged the Dodgers to elevate him to the St. Paul Saints of the American Association in 1955 where he went 10-9 with a 4.05 ERA. 1956 found Valdez with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League where he had a league leading 22 wins and was picked for the All-Star team. This led to his major league debut on April 21, 1957 at Ebbets Field.

On the next to last day of the 1957 season in the second to final game in Brooklyn Dodgers history, Valdez made the start for the team in Philadelphia. For "El Latigo" (the "Whip") it would be his only start in the majors. The Dodgers staked him to an early 8-1 lead, but he wasn't able to get out of the fifth inning and was relieved by Ed Roebuck, who was credited with an eventual 8-4 victory. Rene did win a game and also lost one in four relief appearances for the Dodgers. He finished out at 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in his only year in the big leagues.

Valdez would spend until 1960 with the Montreal Royals of the AAA International League, winning 15 games for the pennant winning 1958 team. He wound up up having two winning years and two losing and would then spend 1961 with the Spokane Indians of the Pacific Coast League going 14-11 with a 3.64 ERA. Rene finished out the balance of his pro baseball career with three years (1962-64) in the Mexican Leagues winding up with a 152-111 record and a 3.60 ERA while pitching 2,095 innings.

A player under the name "Rene Gutierrez" pitched in the Cuban leagues in the 1950s, including for the Almendares.

Valdez's death would occur on March 15, 2008 at tthe age of 78, in Miami, FL.


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Baseball Players of the 1950s


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