Eustaquio Pedroso

From BR Bullpen

Eustaquio Pedroso
(Bombín)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 200 lb.

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Eustaquio Pedroso was a two-way star in Cuba during the Deadball Era.

Pedroso debuted in 1908 with Club Fé, going 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA; not yet an offensive force, he hit .160/.300/.180. He finished 7th in the Cuban Winter League in ERA. [1] After not playing in the CWL in 1908-1909, he got two starts against the Indianapolis Indians when they visited Cuba in the fall of 1909, losing 1-0 and winning 3-0. He made his most famous start against the Detroit Tigers, fresh off an American League pennant, throwing a 11-inning no-hitter (though the Tigers were missing Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford on that trip). He won, 2-1, the run coming on an error by Armando Cabañas. A collection was taken up for the young right-hander and about $300 was collected, including donations from Cuba's then-president, a future Cuban president and Tigers players George Mullin and Charley O'Leary. [2]

While he had achieved his greatest feat at age 23, he still had plenty of good baseball left ahead. He pitched for Almendares in the 1910 CWL, going 4-3 with a 3.13 ERA. He tied Luis González for third in wins and was third in strikeouts as Almendares won the title; staffmate José Méndez was primarily responsible for carrying the rotation, though. Pedroso also started showing his bat, with a 191 OPS+ (.303/.361/.394 in a league that hit .197/.266/.246).

He made legal news in the US in 1910. He signed with the Stars of Cuba, a team run by Allyn McAllister, but jumped to the Cuban Stars of Abel Linares. McAllister took him to court and the judge threw out the case, finding that Pedroso was required to play ball only for McAllister during 1910, but McAllister was not required to retain or pay Pedroso at all. The Associated Press stories that ran made it sound like baseball contracts had been invalidated in general, resulting in a clarifying article by Francis Richter. [3] For the Cuban Stars in 1910, he was 6-2 with a 1.82 ERA and had a 100 OPS+ (.278/.316/.361). He led elite eastern black clubs in wins (one ahead of Lico Mederos) and walks (26, 6 ahead of Mederos) while placing second to Mederos in ERA and strikeouts (39 in 69 1/3), completing all 7 of his starts.

The Havana native had a busy fall against visiting US teams. He went 2-1 against the Leland Giants, allowing only four runs. Facing a strengthened Tigers team, now with Cobb and Crawford, he got a 2-1 victory over Ed Willett to show the prior year's gem had not been a fluke, and lost 2-1 to Ed Summers. He did not fare as well against the Philadelphia Athletics, losing twice to Jack Coombs, by scores of 2-1 and 7-4. With Almendares in 1910-1911, he was 5-3 with a 3.69 ERA (94 ERA+) and only 2 for 21 at the plate but his team won the pennant as Méndez and José Muñoz were a combined 15-3 with an ERA+ of near 200. He did finish third in wins, behind Méndez and González and second with 35 strikeouts (well back of Méndez's 65) but led with 45 walks and 7 hit batsmen.

He played for two teams in the US in 1911, the All Cubans in the West and the Cuban Stars in the East. For the All Cubans, he was 1-7 with a 4.43 ERA but hit .327/.377/.408 (129 OPS+). He led top western black teams in losses, tied for second in walks (27) and was 5th with 44 strikeouts. He was 1 for 4 for the Cuban Stars. In the fall, he lost 3-2 to the Phillies and Toots Shultz and was 1-2 against the mighty New York Giants, splitting a pair with Doc Crandall and losing to Hooks Wiltse.

Pedroso struggled for Almendares in 1912, going 4-10 with a 4.13 ERA (70 ERA+). He was better at the plate with a 112 OPS+, hitting .241/.369/.333. Had he qualified, he would have been 5th in the league in OBP. He led the league in losses, one ahead of Dick Redding. He was 3-3 with a 2.64 ERA for the Cuban Stars that summer, finishing 6th among top black midwestern teams in ERA (between Johnny Goodgame and Bill Gatewood) and leading with two shutouts. In the fall, he lost to Coombs and the A's and split two decisions with Chief Bender and the A's. He beat future Hall-of-Famer Smokey Joe Williams and the New York Lincoln Giants twice and lost once to Redding and the Lincoln Giants.

In the winter of 1913, he rebounded. He was a force on both sides of the plate, posting a batting line of .315/.471/.389 for a 146 OPS+ and a pitching line of 10-5, 3.31 for a 101 ERA+. He led the CWL in wins (one ahead of Williams), led in shutouts (2), tied for the save lead (1), was second in IP (129 2/3, 8 2/3 behind Redding), allowed the most hits and runs, was second to Redding in walks, led with 86 strikeouts (8 ahead of Williams), was 6th in ERA and tied Al Cabrera and Julián Castillo for 8th in walks drawn. Had he qualified, he would have been 7th in OPS. He tied Redding for second in Wins Above Replacement (2.7, .2 behind Williams). He had a 5-4, Sv, 3.81 record for the Cuban Stars, tying Steel Arm Johnny Taylor for third in wins among top midwestern black teams. He was 1-2 against the Birmingham Barons when they visited Cuba and was 2-2 against the Brooklyn Superbas, facing off against Pat Ragan and Earl Yingling; the rest of the Cubans were 0-4 against Brooklyn. It was his last time facing a MLB team.

The veteran helped Almendares to the title in 1913-1914. He hit .350/.490/.375 for a 171 OPS+ and was 9-3 with a save and a 1.90 ERA (127 ERA+). He would have led the league in OBP had he qualified (.038 ahead of Cristóbal Torriente) and been second to Torriente in OPS. On the mound, he was third in wins (behind Pastor Pareda and Méndez), tied Méndez and Tatico Campos for the lead in shutouts (2), was second in IP (104 1/3, 36 2/3 behind Pareda), was 6th in ERA (between Dolf Luque and Angel Villazón) and was second with 47 strikeouts (5 behind Pareda). He led the league in Wins Above Replacement, 3.1 to Méndez's 3.0 and Torriente's 2.1.

In the summer of 1914, he was 3-6 with a 3.36 ERA (112 ERA+) for the Cuban Stars. He completed all nine of his stars, finishing 4th among top midwestern black teams in complete games. He tied for third in losses, behind String Bean Williams and Dicta Johnson. He went 2-1 against the Lincoln Giants in the fall and lost to Carl Ray and Birmingham.

In 1914-1915, he once again was a force to be reckoned with, though Almendares finished a half-game behind Habana. He hit a whopping .389/.456/.467 for a 190 OPS+. Had he qualified, he would have been third in OBP (behind Merito Acosta and Torriente), second to Torriente in slugging and second to Torriente in OPS. Despite only playing a few games in the outfield in addition to his pitching, he still made the CWL top ten in runs (16, tied for 9th with Tomás Romañach and Heliodoro Hidalgo), hits (35, tied for third with major leaguers Paíto Herrera and Rafael Almeida as well as Pearl Webster), doubles (4, tied for 6th) and RBI (21, 2nd, two behind Torriente). He was 10-5 with a 1.72 ERA for a 180 ERA+ (how many seasons in baseball history have had a 190 OPS+ and 180 ERA+ by the same player?) He led in wins (two ahead of Luque and Pareda), games pitched (20, 3 ahead of Luque), complete games (12, 6 ahead of Redding and Emilio Palmero), shutouts (3; no one else had more than one and all the other pitchers in the CWL combined evened him at 3), IP (136, 33 more than Luque), strikeouts (69, 1 ahead of Palmero) and ERA (.11 ahead of Palmero). He routed the field in Wins Above Replacement at 4.5, as much as #2 Torriente (2.3) and #3 Méndez (2.2) combined. The next six players behind him all either are in the Hall of Fame (Torriente, Méndez) or played in the majors (Acosta, Mike González, Palmero and Almeida). Due to his dark skin, he could not join the latter players, nor he was deemed quite good enough to join the Cooperstown crowd like the former.

Pedroso was 9-7 with a 3.31 ERA (97 ERA+) for the 1915 Cuban Stars. He played regularly in right field and hit an uncharacteristically poor .218/.276/.287. He still tied Agustín Parpetti for 8th in RBI (25) among top midwestern black teams, was third in wins (5 behind Dizzy Dismukes and Johnson), was third in complete games (13, behind Dismukes and Johnson), was third in shutouts (2) and his 98 strikeouts were second (9 shy of Johnson). His 2.0 Wins Above Replacement were still good enough to tie Cooperstown-bound Pete Hill for 9th place. When Negro League teams toured Cuba that fall, he beat the Indianapolis ABCs three times, facing Redding, Johnson and Jim Jeffries.

Bombín played for both Almendares and San Francisco in the 1915-1916 CWL; he was mostly with Almendares as they won the title. He split right field with Hidalgo and hit .414/.485/.450 for a 167 OPS+. He was second in RBI (32, 3 behind Torriente), stole 14 bases in 20 tries (second in steals, 6 behind Torriente) and tied Herrera for 4th in hits (46). He just missed out on qualifying this time for the batting title, or he would have won by .012 over Manuel Cueto. He would also have been 4th in slugging and third in OBP (behind Gervasio González and Torriente). On the mound, he was 10-6 with a 2.97 ERA (119 ERA+). He was second in wins (2 behind Luque), led in games pitched (22, one ahead of José Acosta), led in starts (19, 6 ahead of Pareda), led in complete games (13, 3 more than Campos), led in shutouts (3, no one else having more than one), pitched the most innings (148 1/3, 26 1/3 more than Luque), led in strikeouts (61, 5 more than Luque), walked the most (62, 3 more than Pareda), hit the most (11, 6 more than Palmero) and was 6th in ERA (between Pareda and Juan Padrón). He again led the CWL in Wins Above Replacement - his 4.8 was 1.2 ahead of Luque, the only player within two runs.

He followed with one of his worse summers in the US, at 6-9 with a 3.91 ERA (78 ERA+) in 1916 in the Negro Leagues. Playing regularly in the outfield, he hit okay (.256/.332/.364 - 107 OPS+). Among top midwestern black teams, he was 5th in RBI (29, between Jesse Barber and Ben Taylor) and led with 15 doubles (one ahead of Leroy Grant). He was second in losses (two behind Padrón), third in complete games (13, behind fellow Cubans Padrón and José Junco) and 4th with 79 strikeouts (between Dick Whitworth and Tom Williams). He spent the early part of the winter playing in Puerto Rico with the Cuban Stars.

Pedroso was 2-3 with a 3.25 ERA for the Cuban Stars in 1917 while hitting only .206/.257/.275 (86 OPS+). He was also 2-3 that winter in Cuba, hitting .174 and tying for the lead with one homer. [4] In 1918, he did not pitch for the Cuban Stars. Playing regularly at first base, he hit .229/.308/.302 for a 94 OPS+. His 17 RBI were 8th among top midwestern black teams.

In the winter of 1918-1919, he hit .243/.365/.324 (119 OPS+). He was 7th in OPS (between Gervasio González and Pelayo Chacón), tied Chacón for 7th in runs (17), tied for second with four doubles, tied for 6th with two triples, tied for 5th with one home run, tied Gervasio González for 5th with 15 RBI, led with 25 walks drawn, tied Gervasio González for 5th in OBP and was 7th in slugging (between Bienvenido Jiménez and Chacón). He produced at a .310/.370/.413 clip for a 125 OPS+ for the Cuban Stars in 1919 in the Negro Leagues. He led regular first baseman among the top midwestern black teams with a .985 fielding percentage, was 7th among those teams in runs (24, between Torriente and Edgar Wesley), 6th in hits (39, between Grant and Joe Hewitt), tied Frank Duncan for 6th in doubles (7), tied Bill Francis and Torriente for 6th in triples (3), was 5th with 21 RBI (between Torriente and Frank Warfield), was 6th in average (between Wesley and Grant), ranked 5th in OBP (between Wesley and Hewitt), was 5th in slugging (between Torriente and Warfield) and 5th in OPS (also between Torriente and Warfield). He had a rough winter at .220. [5]

The veteran had a batting line of .233/.289/.306 (83 OPS+) in 1920's Negro National League, the first organized Negro League that would last for years. He was 4 for 15 for the Bacharach Giants in Cuba that winter. In 1921, he played for the All Cubans in the eastern Negro Leagues (which were not yet as organized). He hit .302/.383/.415 for a 107 OPS+ and was 0-1 on the hill. He was 8th in OPS (between Otto Briggs and Oliver Marcell), 8th in average (between Briggs and Chaney White) and 8th in OBP (between Marcell and Briggs). He did not play in Cuba that winter.

In 1922, he showed he still swung a potent bat, hitting .313/.402/.428 for a 149 OPS+ for the Cuban Stars in the NNL. Taking the mound regularly for the first time in years, he showed he was not as sharp there though (4-9, 6.75, 80 ERA+). His six times hit by pitch tied Bingo DeMoss for third in the NNL and he tied Wesley for 10th in OBP. He tied Bill McCall and Padrón for 7th in defeats. That winter, he was 2-2 with a 4.94 ERA for the Santa Clara Leopards in Cuba and went 6 for 15 with six walks and a triple, now a bench player.

Pedroso had a 5-4, 4.84 record (97 ERA+) for the Cuban Stars in 1923 and hit .224/.297/.313 (63 OPS+). For the 1923-1924 Leopards, considered by some the greatest teams in CWL history, he saw very little action. He was 3 for 7 with two doubles, a run and a RBI between the CWL and Grand Cuban Championship (a special season added that year), backing up Eddie Douglass, Heavy Johnson and Julio Rojo, Sr. at 1B. He pitched 10 2/3 IP, allowing 11 hits, 8 walks and 6 runs while fanning five as younger hurlers like Dave Brown, Bill Holland, Rube Curry and Pedro Dibut dominated opposing hitters, the job he had once so excelled at. It was his final CWL campaign.

He still played a couple more seasons in the US. In 1924, the 37-year-old hit .186/.255/.291 for a 52 OPS+; he was 3-8 with a 5.75 ERA for a 77 ERA+. He tied Sam Streeter and Hulan Stamps for 5th in the NNL in losses and tied Padrón for 9th with 8 complete games. After not playing in '25, he returned for one final stint in 1926. He batted .204/.264/.305 (55 OPS+) in the Eastern Colored League (the eastern teams having been organized shortly after the midwestern ones). He did pitch well in limited time at 3-1, 2.96 (146 ERA+) to go out on a good note. Among ECL hurlers with 40+ IP that year, only four had better ERA+s - Willis Flournoy, fellow old-timer Redding, Rats Henderson and Nip Winters.

For his career, Pedroso was 50-64 with a save and a 4.10 ERA (95 ERA+) in 149 Negro League games pitched and hit .253/.322/.342 for a 98 OPS+. In Cuba, he was much sharper - the Seamheads database lists him (as of August 2017) at 66-49 with two saves and a 2.79 ERA (108 ERA+) and .289/.395/.353 (133 OPS+). Against white major league teams, he was 7-10 with a 2.51 ERA (101 ERA+) and batted .255/.365/.382 (118 OPS+), clearly indicating he could have been a productive big leaguer had race not been a limiting factor. The Seamheads database lists him at 7th in the CWL in OPS+ for the seasons they have stats (tied with Emilio Palomino). In the history of the CWL, he ranked tied for 9th in seasons pitched (even with Carlos Royer and Agapito Mayor), 7th with 79 complete games (between Juan Manuel Pastoriza and Rodolfo Fernández) and just missed the top 10 in wins (Mayor was 10th at 68). [6]

The Federation of Cuban Professional Players in Exile inducted him into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, well before their standards dissolved with mass inductions in the 1980s and 1990s.

  1. Seamheads database for all CWL stats (unless otherwise specified)
  2. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History by Jorge Figueredo (This is the source for all exhibition stats from white or Negro League teams visiting Cuba)
  3. Agate Type blog by Gary Ashwill
  4. Cuban League stats for 1917-1918 are from Figueredo's book, not the Seamheads database, which is missing that season as of 8/23/2017
  5. 1919-1920 CWL stats are also from Figueredo's book as Seamheads does not have the data as of 8/23/2017
  6. Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, pg. 502