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Dolf Luque

From BR Bullpen

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Adolfo Domingo De Guzman Luque
(The Pride Of Havana)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 160 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Cover of a Cuban magazine showing Luque on the right, likely in 1947

Dolf Luque, The Pride of Havana, pitched 20 years in the majors. He was in two World Series (many years apart), and had a top season going 27-8 with the 1923 Cincinnati Reds. He won two ERA championships and twice led the league in winning percentage. At the end of his major league career, he was the oldest player in the league two years running. He was the first Latino pitcher in the majors and the first to pitch in a World Series. He set the record for wins by a Latino player in the majors, a mark he held for several decades. He also was one of the greatest pitchers in Cuban Winter League history, then managed successfully in that circuit for years. A good hitter for a pitcher, he won a batting title in Cuba as well.

Early Career[edit]

Luque began his professional career in Cuba, but against a major league team, debuting for the Havana Reds in late 1911 when the Philadelphia Phillies came to town. He left the game with a 6-5 lead after 8 but reliever Lico Mederos was unable to hold on in a 7-6 loss to Toots Shultz. [1] He also won once and lost twice that winter to the New York Giants; it was Cuba's lone win in the 12-game series, a 3-2 victory. It was marred by his 7th-inning eviction for arguing with umpire Cy Rigler, starting a trend of disputes with umps [2] He debuted in the Cuban Winter League in early 1912 with Club Fé, going 0-4 with a 2.44 ERA (leading the last-place squad in ERA, though Frank Wickware had a much better record) and going 2 for 26 with four walks on offense. [3]

The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues lists him with the 1912 Cuban Stars [4] but neither the Seamheads database nor The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues list him on the team. He was rocked in 1913 with Fé, allowing 6 hits and 5 runs (4 earned) in 1 2/3 IP, going 0-1. He fared better on offense, splitting third base with Bill Francis and hitting .288/.383/.365 for a 118 OPS+ in a pitcher-friendly loop.

He came to the US with the 1913 Long Branch Cubans, who were owned by a Cuban doctor. [5] He hit .281 and slugged .393 while going 22-5 to lead the New York-New Jersey League in wins. He was 0-3 against the Birmingham Barons when they visited Cuba. [6] Back with Havana in the winter, he hit .262/.311/.286 while backing up Rafael Almeida at the hot corner; he was 2-4 with a 1.83 ERA, 6th in the CWL in ERA.

1914-1916: To the majors[edit]

Moving up to the AAA Jersey City Skeeters, his record was an unimposing 2-10, 4.01. He continued to play the field regularly, producing at a .223/~.273/.330 clip. He was a regular backup to 2B Rudy Hulswitt and also spelled 3B Art Bues. [7] His stint in New Jersey led to his going to the majors; as New York City banned baseball on Sunday due to the Blue Laws, teams often played games in New Jersey on open Sundays. While in an exhibition there, Boston Braves manager George Stallings was impressed by Luque and signed him, making him the first Latin American pitcher in the majors, preceding Emilio Palmero by a year. [8] While a two-way player in Cuba and the minors, he was strictly a pitcher in the majors. He was 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA for the Miracle Braves.

In 1914-1915, he played for Almendares. He hit .277/.338/.308 while still playing some at 1B, 3B and the outfield, but mostly pitched (8-4, 3.32). Oddly, his ERA+ was 93 compared to a 102 OPS+, meaning he was hitting better than pitching that year. He tied Pastor Pareda for second in the CWL in wins and was third with 44 strikeouts (behind Eustaquio Pedroso and Palmero) but allowed the most hits (98) and third-most walks (43). He was 2-0 with 1 save and a 1.55 ERA against the New York Lincoln Stars when they visited Cuba.

He spent most of 1915 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, going 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA. His 133 strikeouts were 6th in the 1915 International League (between Bill McTigue and Lore Bader) and he missed the top 10 in wins by one. [9] League ERA leaders are unknown as ERAs have only been calculated for some hurlers. He also pitched two games for the 1915 Braves (3 R, 2 ER). He was 4-2 with a save and a 2.31 ERA against the Indianapolis ABCs when they visited Cuba in late 1915.

In the winter of 1915-1916, he helped Almendares to the title while posting the most wins of his Cuban Winter League career at 12-5, with 2 saves and a 2.80 ERA. He saw limited action at 2B, 3B and all three outfield slots, hitting .286/.357/.333 for a 97 OPS+. He led the CWL in wins (two ahead of Pedroso), led in saves, was second in IP (122, 26 1/3 behind Pedroso), did not allow a homer, was second in strikeouts (55, 8 behind Pedroso) and was 4th in ERA.

1916-1918: Summers in Louisville[edit]

After having brief tastes of the majors in 1914-1915, the right-hander would spend a couple of summers strictly in the high minors. In 1916, he joined the Louisville Colonels and went 13-8 with a 2.64 ERA, hitting .289. That winter, he CWL season started late due to a player dispute over pay. Playing for the Orientales, he was 4-4 with a 1.84 ERA and hit .355/.355/.516. He led in strikeouts (39, 13 ahead of Palmero), tied Palmero for the win lead, led in losses (one ahead of Palmero), led in complete games (6), had the most shutouts (2), won the batting title (.014 ahead of Jacinto Calvo) and easily led in slugging (no one else was over .439). Note that the Seamheads database does not list him as playing enough to qualify for the batting title, but he is listed as such in the Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History and A History of Cuban Baseball. [10]

Luque was 2-4 with a 2.39 ERA for Louisville in 1917, then began 1918 11-2 with a 2.00 ERA for the club. That convinced the Cincinnati Reds to buy his contract later in the year and he would not return to the minors.

1918-1929: Reds mainstay[edit]

He was 6-3 with a 3.81 ERA for the 1918 Reds and hit .321/.424/.464. He pitched in an independent league in Cuba's Oriente province in 1918-1919 rather than in the Cuban Winter League. [11] He was a dependable reliever for the 1919 Reds as they had the franchise's best performance of the Deadball Era. He went 10-3 with three saves and a 2.63 ERA (107 ERA+). He tied for second in the 1919 NL in saves, one shy of fellow Cuban Oscar Tuero. He was the first pitcher from Latin America to appear in a World Series, throwing 5 shutout innings (1 hit, 6 strikeouts) as the top hurler for the Reds when they won the 1919 World Series. [12]

Luque returned to the CWL in 1919-1920, now as player-manager for Almendares. He guided them to a title at 21-5 and went 10-4. He tied José Acosta for the league lead in games pitched (15) and led in wins, two ahead of Acosta. He ran into trouble, though, when he attacked umpire Sirique González and was suspended for three games as a result. [13] For the 1920 Reds, he posted a 13-9, 2.51 record with 2 saves, pitching both as a starter and reliever. He also hit .266/.347/.313, posting a better OPS than four of the Reds' starting position players. He was 6th in the 1920 NL in ERA (between Dutch Ruether and Bill Doak), 3rd in WHIP (behind Babe Adams and Wilbur Cooper) and easily allowed the fewest hits per 9 IP (7.28, further ahead of #2 Ruether than Ruether was ahead of #10).

In the winter of 1920-1921, he again reacted badly to an umpire's call, pulling his team from the field as a protest against a decision by Pájaro Cabrera. This time, he was suspended 16 games. Almendares lost as Habana rallied past them while Luque was out. [14] On the mound, he was 3-1 with a 1.01 ERA (258 ERA+) and would have had a good shot at the win lead (Acosta had 6) had he not been suspended. He still tied Acosta for first in shutouts (2) and led in ERA (.61 ahead of Cheo Hernández). He was 17-19 with 3 saves for the Reds in 1921 while hitting .270/.289/.351, placing on the NL leaderboard in Wins Above Replacement (5.0, 8th, the best Reds player), wins (tied for 8th with Rube Marquard), WHIP (1.26, 5th, between Doak and Mule Watson), games pitched (41, tied for 8th with Art Nehf), complete games (25, 3rd, behind Burleigh Grimes and Cooper), shutouts (3, tied for first with 7 others) and losses (tied for 2nd with Jimmy Ring). He was the first Latino to lead a major league in shutouts. While Luque would lead again, no other Latino would do so until Hiram Bithorn over 20 years later. [15] He did not pitch that winter in Cuba due to an emergency operation. He managed Almendares to a 1-4 record before the season ended early due to financial troubles (many players had gone to Mexico, where money was better), the shortest CWL season since the 1880s. [16]

The CWL season was very short in 1921, not extending into 1922, due to financial troubles; Luque managed Almendares to a 1-4 record then asked the season be ended. Only Almendares and Habana had suited up teams with an exodus of players to Mexico. [17]

Luque was only 13-23 despite a 3.31 ERA (120 ERA+) for the 1922 Reds - and it's not as if he had little run support as the team finished second in the 1922 NL and was 5th in runs per game, indicating poor luck. He hit .209/.253/.267. He was among the league leaders in ERA (6th, between Nehf and Lefty Weinert), WHIP (1.30, 7th, between Grover Cleveland Alexander and Nehf), IP (261, 8th, between Jeff Pfeffer and Burleigh Grimes), starts (33, tied for 7th), complete games (18, tied for 10th), fewest home runs per IP (only Adams and Rosy Ryan gave up fewer), losses (1st, two more than Joe Oeschger) and ERA+ (7th, between Nehf and Johnny Morrison). It would be 58 years before someone lost 20 games on a MLB team with a winning record, when Brian Kingman did so for the 1980 Oakland A's. [18] He got into his last major on-field conflict that year, in a game against the Giants. Due to an overflow crowd, the Giants bench players were forced from the dugout, giving them closer proximity to Luque. As was their tendency, they started hauling racist taunts at the Latino ace. He got so enraged this time that he put down the ball and glove and left the field to charge Bill Cunningham, one of the most offensive hecklers. His punch missed Cunningham but hit Casey Stengel instead. [19]

For the 1922-1923 season for Habana, he was a great two-way threat (11-7, Sv, 1.53 ERA, 225 ERA+ on the mound; .303/.418/.485, 160 OPS+ at the plate); he did not manage that season as Mike Gonzalez had been the team's skipper and retained that role. Luque set the all-time CWL record on February 23 when he struck out seven batters in a row - his successor as Almendares manager José Rodríguez, Paíto Herrera, Isidro Fabré, Wickey McAvoy, Oscar Levis, Cheo Ramos and Oscar Rodríguez. [20] He led the league in wins (tied with Lucas Boada), games pitched (21, two ahead of Levis), complete games (12), shutouts (2, tied with Juanelo Mirabal), saves (tied with Ben Tincup and Fabré), strikeouts (88, tied with Levis) and Wins Above Replacement (5.2, 2.2 ahead of Edgar LePard and almost as many as #2 LePard and #3 Bernardo Baró combined). He was second in IP (135 2/3, 1 1/3 behind Levis) and ERA (second to Mirabal) and5th tied for fifth in triples (4, even with Ramos, Oscar Rodríguez and Calvo). Had he qualified, he would have been third in OPS (behind Baró and Cristóbal Torriente), 9th in average, 5th in OBP (between Merito Acosta and Torriente) and 5th in slugging (between future Hall-of-Fame position players Torriente and Pop Lloyd).

Luque's 1923 Reds campaign was one for the ages: 27-8, 2 Sv, 1.93. He dominated the 1923 NL, finishing first in ERA (.87 ahead of Eppa Rixey), wins (two ahead of Morrison), hits per 9 IP (7.8, .64 ahead of Dazzy Vance), shutouts (6), lowest HR ratio (.057 per 9 IP, .030 ahead of Rixey), ERA+ (201, 62 ahead of Rixey) and Wins Above Replacement (10.8, 3.7 ahead of Frankie Frisch). He was second in WHIP (1.11, .03 behind Alexander), K/9 (behind Vance), 9th in games pitched (41), tied for 10th in saves, second in innings (322, 5 behind Grimes), second in strikeouts (151, 46 behind Vance), tied Rixey and Morrison for third in starts (37), second with 28 complete games (5 behind Grimes) and 6th in walks (88, between Tiny Osborne and Ruether). While he only allowed two homers in 322 IP, he hit one, off Hugh McQuillan. Bill James said it was the best season by a pitcher in the 1920s. [21] No Latino pitcher would post a lower ERA in the majors until Luis Tiant in 1968, The Year of the Pitcher, while Luque toiled in a hitters' era. [22]

He was 7-2 with a 1.74 ERA and hit .405/.426/.524 with 12 RBI in 42 AB for Habana in the winter of 1923-1924 plus succeeded Mike Gonzalez as manager during the season. He led the CWL in ERA (.32 ahead of Dave Brown), tied Mirabal and Jesse Petty for 3rd in wins, led in WHIP (1.01, .20 ahead of Brown) and was 8th with 5 complete games. Had he qualified, he would have beaten out Jimmy Cooney for the batting title by .013, ranked 6th in OBP and 5th in slugging (between Charleston and Cooney). His 3.6 Wins Above Replacement tied Dobie Moore for the league lead. In the Gran Premio special season that followed, he was 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA, leading in ERA by .12 ahead of Levis for his third ERA title in under a year. He tied for 5th in wins and managed Habana to a close second place, a half-game out.

Dolf fell to 10-15, 3.16 for the 1924 Reds but his ERA+ was still 119. He was 10th in ERA, 4th in K/9 (3.53, between Nehf and Tony Kaufmann), 3rd with 86 K (behind Vance and Grimes) and 8th in losses. In 1924-1925, he went 3-0 for Almendares as they won the title. [23] He had another hard-luck campaign with the 1925 Cincinnati Reds, leading the 1925 NL in ERA but posting a losing record at 16-18, 3.29. He certainly helped his own cause by hitting .255/.283/.363 with two home runs. He was among the NL leaders in ERA (1st, .25 ahead of Rixey), wins (8th), WHIP (1st, .0008 ahead of Vance at 1.172), fewest hits per 9 IP (8.13, 1st, .23 ahead of Larry Benton), K/9 (4.33, a distant 2nd behind Vance's 7.50 and well ahead of #3 Allen Sothoron's 3.87), games pitched (36, tied for 9th), innings (291, 2nd, 10 behind Pete Donohue; Reds hurlers took the top three spots), strikeouts (140, 2nd, 81 behind Vance and 47 ahead of Ring and Sheriff Blake), starts (36, tied for 3rd with Rixey), complete games (22, tied for 3rd with Rixey), shutouts (4, tied for first with Vance and Hal Carlson), losses (tied Blake for second, one behind Grimes), ERA+ (156, 1st, 14 ahead of Rixey) and Wins Above Replacement (4th, behind Rogers Hornsby, Donohue and Kiki Cuyler).

He did not play or manage in Cuba in the winter of 1925-1926. For the 1926 Reds, he was 13-16 with a 3.43 ERA (107 ERA+). He also batted .346/.393/.410 (119 OPS+), outhitting all of the Reds' starting infielders (Wally Pipp, Hughie Critz, Frank Emmer and Chuck Dressen). He was 8th in the 1926 NL in IP (233 2/3, between Bill Sherdel and Rixey), 8th in strikeouts (95, between Blake and Jack Scott), tied Lee Meadows for 7th with 31 starts, 10th with 16 complete games, tied Joe Genewich and Wayland Dean for 3rd in losses despite posting a 107 ERA+ on a team that finished second in the league, just out of first, while helping his own cause at the plate significantly for a very tough-luck season in terms of record.

Luque was active in Cuba again in 1926-1927, managing the Alacranes to the title (22-15) in the Cuban Triangular League, which played that season only but had many of the CWL's top players as well as many Negro League greats. He led the way, pitching a league-high 16 games (two ahead of Palmero and Ping Gardner), complete games (13, 7 ahead of Gardner), wins (10-6, 4 ahead of Palmero), losses (2 more than Palmero, Gardner or Fabré) and winning percentage. He also hit .278 as a part-time outfielder. [24]

With the Reds in 1927, he had a 13-12, 3.20 record (120 ERA+) and hit three triples though his offense was down overall (.217/.253/.289). He was 8th in the 1927 NL in ERA (between Dutch Ulrich and Carmen Hill) and 7th in WHIP (1.22, between Jesse Haines and Hill). That winter, he was not given permission by the Reds to play in Cuba; Mike Gonzalez and Palmero were also barred by their respective teams. That did not stop the trio, all who played under assumed names to avoid detection. Luque went by J.Cabada, the name of his chauffeur. He was 6-4 with a 2.64 ERA (160 ERA+) for Almendares, which he managed to a 17-23 record before they withdrew from the league following a devastating 18-4 loss to Habana. He won yet another ERA title (.24 ahead of Cocaína García), led in WHIP (1.22, .02 ahead of Levis), tied Willie Foster and William Bell for second in wins (one shy of Levis), tied Willie Powell for 3rd with 42 strikeouts, was 3rd with 6 complete games (behind Foster and Levis), led with two saves and tied Chino Smith for 3rd in Wins Above Replacement (2.2, trailing Martin Dihigo [who won the league's first MVP award that year] and Levis). Not bad for a guy who had to hide his identity. [25]

In the summer, with the 1928 Reds, he was 11-10 with a 3.57 ERA for a 111 ERA+. Despite a solid season, he did not make the top 10 in the 1928 NL in any positive pitching department, finishing 8th in walks and 9th in hits allowed. He again was denied permission to play in the Cuban Winter League and again resorted to a pseudonym to escape the Reds' rules. He played as A. Foster, winning one game for Habana then transferring to the Cuba club as player-manager. He was 8-2 for a team that otherwise was 9-33. He tied Cliff Bell for the league lead in wins and led in winning percentage. ERA is unavailable for that season (as of 12/6/2017). His 9 complete games were second, two behind Cliff Bell, and he tied Ted Trent and Yoyo Díaz for 3rd with 17 games pitched. [26]

The veteran hurler fell to 5-16, 4.18 in 1929 but his ERA+ was still 102 and he played error-free defense. He was 4th in the 1929 NL in lowest home run rate (between Blake and Charlie Root) and 5th in losses. His struggles continued with Habana in 1929-1930, going 4-8 to tie Cliff Bell for the loss lead. [27]

1930-1935: Finishing as a player while still productive[edit]

At age 39, the Reds decided to deal away their long-time staff member, sending him to the Brooklyn Robins for Doug McWeeny. The move was a poor one as McWeeny would go 0-2 in his Reds career while Luque had a comeback season in 1930. He went 14-8 with two saves and a 4.30 ERA (115 ERA+ in an extremely hitter-friendly year). He was 9th in the 1930 NL in WHIP (1.40, between Ray Phelps and Root), was 6th in winning percentage, tied for 5th with two shutouts and missed the top ten in ERA by .08 behind Ray Kolp.

In a CWL season shortened by contract disputes, he guided Almendares to a 3-1 record and first place. The Campeonato Unico was set up to replace the CWL at that point and he led the Almendarista team to a 9-4 record and the championship. [28] Luque got to pitch for the Robins in an intrasquad five-game series back at Cuba's La Tropical Stadium to end spring training; he went 2-0 against his teammates. [29] He faded to 7-6, 4.56 for the 1931 Robins. His 84 ERA+ was the lowest it had been in 13 years, the first time under 100 in that steady run. Oddly, after many losing records in quality seasons, he now had a winning record in a less successful season.

After not appearing in the CWL that winter, Luque was let go by Brooklyn. He was signed by the New York Giants and went 6-7 with 5 saves and a 4.01 ERA (93 ERA+) in 38 games (5 starts) for them in 1932. He tied Ben Cantwell for 3rd in the 1932 NL in saves. He managed Almendares in 1932-1933 and was 2-2 on the mound in his first CWL pitching action in three years. The season was cut short by political unrest that would also prevent the next season as well. [30]

For the 1933 Giants, he was an excellent reliever: 8-2, 4 Sv, 2.69 in 35 G. He tied for 6th in the 1933 NL in saves, tied Hi Bell for 3rd in games finished in relief (22) and was the Giants' #2 reliever (after Hi Bell). He also went 5 for 19 to show he could still hit fine at age 42-43. In Game 5 of the 1933 World Series (with New York up 3 games to 1), he relieved Hal Schumacher with a 3-3 tie in the 6th, men on the corners and two outs. He got Luke Sewell to escape the jam, struck out the side in the 7th, allowed only a Joe Cronin single in the 8th and a walk to counterpart Jack Russell in the 9th. Meanwhile, Luque had singled in the top of the 9th in his lone at-bat of the Series. After Mel Ott homered in the 10th to put New York ahead, Bill Terry stuck with Luque to try to seal the win. He got Goose Goslin and Heinie Manush quickly but Cronin singled and Fred Schulte walked. Luque then struck out Joe Kuhel to end the Series, getting a dramatic win with superb shutout relief (4 1/3 IP, 2 H, 5 K). Aged 43, Luque remains the oldest player ever to get his first postseason win. Dennis Eckersley and Kenny Rogers were 42 and 41 respectively. [31]

There was no Cuban Winter League in 1933-1934 due to political unrest. Luque remained a solid reliever for New York in 1934, going 4-3 with 7 saves and a 3.83 ERA (102 ERA+) in 26 games. He could still hit well at age 44, going 2 for 7 with a double. He tied Dizzy Dean for second in the 1934 NL in saves, one behind Carl Hubbell. He did this despite being the league's oldest player, seven months older than Vance. That winter, he showed his ability at organization, managing and pitching. He helped Mike Gonzalez re-organize the Cuban Winter League and he then managed Almendares to the title (18-9). He went 6-2 with a 1.27 ERA, leading the league in ERA (.37 ahead of MVP Lázaro Salazar). His 6 complete games were second (one behind Tommy de la Cruz) and he tied de la Cruz and Salazar for the most victories. It would be his last big year as a pitcher. [32]

His long major league pitching career ended with the 1935 Giants, for whom he began his MLB coaching career, over 15 years after he had begun managing in Cuba. The league's oldest pitcher didn't show it in the little time he was active - he went 1-0, allowed one hit, one walk and no runs in 3 2/3 IP and got a hit in his lone trip to the plate.

1936-1958: More Coaching and Managing[edit]

Luque remained a Giant coach through 1938 and again served in that role from 1941 to 1945. [33] Meanwhile, he continued to manage in Cuba. He guided Almendares to 28-20 in 1935-1936, 31-35 in 1936-1937, 40-23 in 1937-1938 (going 0-1 in a brief return to the mound), 20-34 in 1938-1939 (again 0-1 on the hill) and 28-23 in 1939-1940, when he led them to a title. [34] In early 1940, he managed a Cuban team to a split with the Cincinnati Reds. [35]

Luque replaces Salazar as manager of Almendares during 1941-1942 and led them to another championship then repeated in 1942-1943 at 28-20. [36] He guided Cienfuegos to a 25-23 record in 1943-1944 and 24-24 in 1944-1945. That season, at age 54, he took the mound for the final time when his team was racked by injuries; he allowed four hits and two earned runs in three innings, striking out four. [37] He managed the team to a CWL title (37-23) in 1945-1946, the third organization he had piloted to a Cuban title. [38] That summer, he began managing the Pericos de Puebla in the Mexican League, having ended his coaching career in the US.

Returning once again to the helm of Almendares in 1946-1947, he made the call to go with Max Lanier on one day's rest against Habana with the title on the line; the gutsy move paid off and the team won the championship (42-24). [39] After another third-place finish with the Pericos, he led the Alacranes in the 1947-1948 Cuban Players League; the team finished 44-47. [40] He piloted the Azules de Veracruz in Mexico that summer. He is credited with helping develop Sal Maglie (playing in Mexico that year) into a star hurler. [41]

After not managing any teams in 1949, he returned with a stellar 98-47 record with the 1950 Águilas de Mexicali but the team lost the Mexican League finals. He took over for Reinaldo Cordeiro as manager of the Marianao Tigers in 1950-1951. In 1951, he was given the tough job of succeeding Oscar Rodríguez in charge of the Havana Cubans after Rodríguez had won five straight titles. In his only full-season managerial stint in a league based primarily in the US, his team finished a disappointing 68-71. He went 32-39 with Marianao in 1951-1952 and was replaced by Fermin Guerra during the 1952-1953 season.

That campaign, Tommy Lasorda was on his team, Lasorda said that Terris McDuffie was begging off pitching due to a sore arm. Luque returned with a revolver from his office and McDuffie changed his mind: "All you gotta do is give me the ball", he said then, and went out to pitch a two-hitter. Lasorda called Luque "the worst human being I have ever known." [42]

Luque managed the Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo to Mexican League titles in both 1953 and 1954. He returned to manage Habana for the first time in 30 years, going 36-33 in 1954-1955. His Nuevo Laredo team fell to second in 1955. In 1955-1956, he was 34-35 for Habana. [43] He last managed the Leones de Yucatán in the summer of 1956. He died of a heart attack the next year. [44]

Honors, Statistics and Evaluation[edit]

Luque was 194-179 with 29 saves and a 3.24 ERA (118 ERA+) in 550 major league games as a pitcher. He completed 206 of 367 starts, 26 of them for shutouts. He had also shown good hitting skill for a pitcher, batting .227/.283/.291 (53 OPS+). Through 2017,'s Wins Above Replacement lists him as the 12th-best player in Reds history, between Bucky Walters and Heinie Groh. [45] He was 4th in Reds history in pitching Wins Above Replacement (37.6, trailing Noodles Hahn, long-time teammate Rixey and Walters), 5th in wins (154, between Walters and Will White), 8th in games pitched (395), 2nd in IP (2,668 2/3, trailing Rixey by 222), 3rd in starts (321, behind Rixey and Paul Derringer), 8th with 183 complete games (between Bob Ewing and Rixey), tied for 5th with 24 shutouts (even with Derringer and Hahn) and first in losses (2 ahead of Derringer). He tied Norm Charlton, Ewing and Frank Dwyer for 13th in ERA+ but several of the pitchers ahead of or even with him were relievers. [46] He is a member of the Reds Hall of Fame.

In MLB history, he was tied for 129th in wins (through 2017), 145th in Wins Above Replacement for a pitcher (43.2), 104th in innings, tied Casey Patten for 127th in complete games, tied Pink Hawley for 75th in losses, 82nd in adjusted career pitching wins (20.76, between Mark Buehrle and Dizzy Dean) and 61st in assists by a pitcher (61st, 786, between Bobby Mathews and Cooper). Through 2016, he was 6th in wins by a Latino hurler in the majors, between Pedro Martínez and Mike Cuellar; among Cubans, only Luis Tiant had more. [47]

In the Cuban Winter League, he pitched the most seasons (22, 3 ahead of Dihigo), was 4th with 113 complete games (between José Muñoz and García), second in wins (106, one behind Dihigo), 3rd in losses (71, behind Adrián Zabala and de la Cruz) and 7th in winning percentage (between Connie Marrero and Juan Manuel Pastoriza). [48] He presumably was among the leaders in both managerial wins and losses as well given his long tenure there.

Bill James rated Luque, in 2000, as the 90th-best pitcher in major league history, between Larry Jackson and George Uhle. [49] He was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1958. [50] In 1967, he was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. [51] In 1985, he was inducted into Mexico's Salón de la Fama as a manager. [52] He was elected to the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its 2011 class. [53]

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time NL ERA Leader (1923 & 1925)
  • NL Wins Leader (1923)
  • 2-time NL Winning Percentage Leader (1919 & 1923)
  • 3-time NL Shutouts Leader (1921, 1923 & 1925)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 3 (1921, 1923 & 1925)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1923)
  • 25 Wins Seasons: 1 (1923)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 9 (1920-1928)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1921 & 1923)
  • Won two World Series with the Cincinnati Reds (1919) and the New York Giants (1933)

Year-by-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Playoffs Notes
1946 Pericos de Puebla Mexican League 52-46 3rd none
1947 Pericos de Puebla Mexican League 63-56 3rd none
1948 Azules de Veracruz Mexican League 43-43 5th none
1950 Águilas de Mexicali Sunset League 98-47 1st Lost League Finals
1951 Havana Cubans Florida International League 68-71 5th
1952 Águilas de Mexicali Southwest International League -- -- replaced by Virgilio Arteaga
1953 Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo Mexican League 43-33 1st none League Champs
1954 Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo Mexican League 56-24 1st none League Champs
1955 Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo Mexican League 53-47 2nd Lost League Finals
1956 Leones de Yucatán Mexican League 55-63 3rd none


  1. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History by Jorge Figueredo, pg. 95
  2. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 96
  3. Seamheads database for Cuban Winter League stats unless otherwise listed
  4. The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues ed. by James Riley, pg. 498
  5. A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman, pg. 42
  6. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 105-106
  7. The International League: Year-by-Year Statistics by Marshall Wright, pg. 185
  8. A History of Cuban Baseball, pg. 42
  9. The International League: Year-by-Year Statistics, pg. 188-192
  10. A History of Cuban Baseball, pg. 114 and Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 123
  11. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 126
  12. A History of Cuban Baseball, pg. 42
  13. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 130-132
  14. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 137-139
  15. Puerto Rico and Baseball: 60 Biographies, pg. 54 ed. by Bill Nowlin and Edwin Fernandez
  16. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 141
  17. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 141
  18. 2011 Sports Illustrated article on 20-loss seasons
  19. A History of Cuban Baseball, pg. 40-41
  20. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 143
  21. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract by Bill James, pg. 914
  22. A History of Cuban Baseball, pg. 43
  23. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 139
  24. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 171-172
  25. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 174-176, plus Seamheads stats
  26. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 177-181
  27. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 183-185
  28. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 189-193
  29. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 196
  30. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 200-202
  31. 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article
  32. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 203-204
  33. Total Baseball (7th edition) ed. by John Thorn, Pete Palmer and Michael Gershman, pg. 2,445
  34. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 208, 215, 220, 228, 231
  35. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 235
  36. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 243, 247
  37. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 254, 256, 261
  38. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 264
  39. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 277-280
  40. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 302
  41. The Giants and the Dodgers by Lee Allen, pg. 204
  42. The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, pg. 535; 1999 New York Times article; 1985 Jerome Holtzman article for the Chicago Tribune on Lasorda; 1985 Los Angeles Times article
  43. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 397, 410
  44. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 434
  45. Main BR site
  46. Reds career pitching leaders
  47. Listin Diario
  48. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 502-503
  49. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, pg. 909-910
  50. A History of Cuban Baseball, pg. 454
  51. Reds Hall of Fame
  52. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros, pg. 118
  53. on 2011 Latino Baseball Hall of Fame class

Further Reading[edit]

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