Emilio Navarro

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Emilio Navarro

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

Biographical Information[edit]

Emilio Navarro was a two-year shortstop in the Negro Leagues who, following the death of Si Simmons in December 2006, became the oldest living former Negro Leaguer. He lived to be 105 years old.

Navarro's father died when he was six and Emilio grew up in Ponce, Puerto Rico. A baseball fan as a kid, Emilio once jumped a fence to get into a game he couldn't afford to see; one of the team members was sick so the manager offered a chance to the exuberant youth and Navarro accepted.

Offered a spot at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez, Navarro turned it down to play baseball in the USA. In 1928, Millito hit .176 as the regular third baseman for the Cuban Stars (East); the second baseman was major leaguer Mike Herrera. In 1929, Emilio hit .337 for the club, third-best on the team. It was a high-scoring year in the American Negro League; the heart of the live ball era produced at least five hitters over .400. Navarro was suspended (along with Alejandro Oms and Ramon Bragana) for part of the year when he did not report as scheduled.

Navarro returned to Latin America to continue his baseball career and was active in various capacities with the Ponce Lions for 20 years. He also ran a local stadium for 20 years.

In 1992, Emilio was elected to the Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame and in 2004, to the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame.

Sources: Wikipedia article on Navarro, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley, The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway

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