Luis Francisco Olmo
born Luis Francisco Rodriquez Olmo
(El Jíbaro, El Pelotero de América)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11½", Weight 190 lb.
- Debut July 23, 1943
- Final Game June 6, 1951
- Born August 11, 1919 in Arecibo, P.R.
- Died April 28, 2017 in San Juan, P.R.
Luis Olmo was a player who had one excellent year in the major leagues, out of a six-year major league career, but who became much more successful as a Caribbean star. He was elected to the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004. His major league career was shortened because he was one of the players who were suspended for several years by Major League Baseball for leaving to play in the Mexican League in the 1940s. He played well in Mexico, hitting .289 with 9 homers in 59 games for Mexico City and Veracruz in 1946, and then hitting .301 with 14 homers and 72 RBIs for Veracruz in 1947.
His best year in the majors was 1945, when he hit .313 (sixth in the National League), with 13 triples to lead the league, 10 home runs, and 110 RBI (third in the league), playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He added 15 stolen bases, which were fourth in the league.
In 1949, he was part of the pennant-winning Dodgers (after having been with them years earlier, from 1943 to 1945). He hit .305 in 38 games. In the third game of the 1949 World Series, he batted sixth in the lineup, which was as follows: Pee Wee Reese, Eddie Miksis, Carl Furillo, Jackie Robinson in the cleanup spot, Gil Hodges, Luis Olmo, a young Duke Snider batting seventh, and Roy Campanella batting eighth. Olmo hit a home run in the 9th inning.
Luis is known in Puerto Rico as "El jíbaro Olmo". As a scout, he signed Sandy Alomar Sr. and Juan Pizarro for the Milwaukee Braves and recommended Félix Mantilla while playing a role in Elrod Hendricks' signing as well. He later scouted for the Philadelphia Phillies and (briefly) the Chicago White Sox. He was GM of the Criollos de Caguas in 1963-1964 and served as an announcer in the Puerto Rican League.
- NL Triples Leader (1945)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1945)