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Tommy de la Cruz

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Tomás de la Cruz Rivero

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 168 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Cuban native Tommy de la Cruz spent nine seasons in professional baseball from 1936 to 1944. The right-hander spent the 1944 season in the major leagues with the Cincinnati Reds. He appeared in 34 games, pitched 191 1/3 innings with a 3.25 ERA and built a 9-9 record. He logged the most decisions by a Cuban pitcher between the days of Dolf Luque and the arrival of Connie Marrero in the 1950s.

Tommy spent eight seasons in the minor leagues, coming up with a 95-73 record while pitching 1,452 innings in 286 games. He had five double-digit win seasons while in the minor leagues, with his best year appearing to be in 1943 with the International League Syracuse Chiefs when he went 21-11 with a 1.19 ERA in 36 appearances.

Tommy was of African-Cuban background but his skin-tone was pale enough that he could pass off as "white" in the days of segregation; the fact that he played during the acute player shortage caused by World War II helped to ground that fiction.

Cruz died on September 6, 1958 at the age of 46 in Havana, Cuba.

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