José Acosta

From BR Bullpen

José Acosta (Acostica)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 6", Weight 134 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

José Acosta, an early Cuban player in the major leagues, played in the Negro Leagues and was light-skinned enough that he played in the major leagues.

José went 5-1 in the 1913-14 Cuban Winter League and was 1-0 in a series against the New York Lincoln Giants. In 1914-15, he went 8-3 in the CWL, placing him second to Dolf Luque in victories. The next year, he was 2-1.

Acosta played for the Long Branch Cubans, pitching for them in 1914-15 and played for the Vancouver Beavers in 1916 and 1917 after Jack Calvo, another Cuban, recommended him. Acosta later played in the Pacific Coast League. 1918-19's winter league season had him at 8-3, second to Luque in wins again. In 1919, he pitched a 3-hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during a winter tour. In 1919-20, he was 6-3 in the winter season, posting the top record.

His height, at only 5 ' 6 ", was apparently a problem as managers expected bigger players.

His major league career started at age 29, when he played two seasons for the Washington Senators. Each season, he went 5-4, pitching mostly in relief. Walter Johnson and Tom Zachary were on the pitching staff with him. He was just 2-8 in the winters from 1921-23 in Cuba.

In 1922, he appeared in 5 games with the Chicago White Sox, where Red Faber was on the pitching staff with him. He had an 88 ERA+ overall in the majors. He went 0-2 with a 10.93 ERA for the Kansas City Blues that year and was 7-5 with a 3.47 ERA for the Mobile Bears. In 1923, Acosta went 11-8 with a nearly identical 3.48 ERA for Mobile. He was 4-1 in Cuba in 1923-24 and in 1924 went 15-13 with a 3.72 ERA in his third season for the Bears.

In 1924-25, he was 2-1 in Cuban winter play and followed that with a 14-19, 3.73 season for Mobile, leading the Southern Association in losses. In 1928, José went 14-6 with a 4.10 ERA for the High Point Pointers, then after an 0-4 winter, went 9-15 with a 4.72 ERA for the Pointers to complete his career in Organized Baseball.

He apparently led the Cuban League in winning percentage four times. He is also said to have played with Oscar Charleston in 1924-25 and 1926-27 on Cuban teams.

He was listed for a long time as the brother of Merito Acosta, but in fact the two contemporary players were not releated, as confirmed by Merito's daughter to SABR researcher years later.

Related Sites[edit]