Héctor Leal (minors01)

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Héctor Leal Rivera (Comadre)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Héctor Leal twice topped 100 RBI in a season. The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics lists him as a OF-C-IF.

Leal debuted with the 1938 Alijadores de Tampico, hitting .268/.286/.366. He was on the Mexican national team in the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games. He split 1939 between Tampico and the Cafeteros de Cordoba, batting a combined .262/.294/.369. The next year, he was with the Aguila de Veracruz and playing regularly on a team loaded with legends - Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, Willie Wells, Ray Dandridge and Angel Castro. He hit .245/.311/.359 with 12 steals and 56 runs in 83 games, legging out six triples.

The 23-year-old then began a long run with the Industriales de Monterrey, hitting .275/.275/.350 in 1941 in limited action. With fewer American additions in '42 (though Roy Campanella joined the team), his playing time picked up and he hit .244/.327/.324 with 69 runs in 90 games. In 1943, he hit .274/.325/.322. He stole 12 bases and had five triples in '44, when he batted .290/.364/.361. He hit .262/.339/.343 with 6 triples and 72 runs in 93 games.

The Sonora native produced at a .239/.311/.308 clip in 1946, again holding his job despite another flock of American and Cuban players coming to Mexico. In '47, he hit .296/.371/.356, a better average than teammates Lou Klein and George Hausmann, who were in between MLB stops. In 1948, he moved to the Tuneros de San Luis, hitting .235/.311/.360 and managing the team part of the year. In 11 seasons in the LMB, he had batted .263/.330/.342 with 414 runs in 740 games. He had never driven in more than 38 in a year.

He then left the LMB for the Indios de Ciudad Juárez, a Mexican team in the Arizona-Texas League. He hit .306 and slugged .393 for the remainder of 1948, with 46 RBI in 59 games, more than he had ever driven in a full Mexican campaign. He began 1949 as the Indios' skipper before Victor Canales took over. He batted .333 with a .458 slugging and 108 RBI. In a high-octane loop, the RBI total was good for third on the team but did not make the league's top 10.

In 1950, he hit .305/.407/.414 with 94 walks, 37 doubles, 106 runs and 119 RBI. He was 10th in the league in RBI, between Canales and Dick Steinhauer and tied Dick Smith for 7th in doubles but he did not make the top 10 in walks, runs. His .969 fielding percentage was among the best for outfielders in the circuit and .296/.371/.356 clip in 1947. Leal wound down in '51 with another fine summer (.332 AVG, .409 SLG) for the Indios.