Poppa Ruiz

From BR Bullpen

Silvino Ruiz (Poppa)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Born ~1899

Poppa Ruiz was a sub-.500 pitcher in over a decade in the Cuban Winter League and also played for a few years in the Negro Leagues. His best pitch was a screwball.

Ruiz debuted in the CWL in 1928-1929, going 2-4 between two teams. He spent the summer in 1928 and 1929 with the Negro Leagues' Cuban Stars but got no decisions. Ruiz was 4-7 for Almendares in 1929-1930, then 0-1 in the winter of 1930 (the season was cut short). In the Campeonato Unico, he went 1-0 for Habana.

Ruiz skipped a few seasons then returned in 1935-1936, going 3-5 for Marianao. He was 2-2 for Habana in 1936-1937 and 7-6 for Almendares in 1937-1938. He went 2-2 for Almendares the next winter. In 1939, the old-timer returned to the USA, going 3-3 for the New York Cubans.

Ruiz posted a 6-5 record between Almendares and Santa Clara in 1939-1940, then had his big year, going 8-2 for New York in 1940. He was picked for the 1940 East-West Game, relieving Henry McHenry in the fourth and throwing three shutout innings before turning the ball over to Ray Brown. The East went on to a 11-0 win. Ruiz walked two and gave up two hits in his three innings; at the plate, he was 0 for 2 with a run. Poppa ended his Cuban career with Santa Clara in 1940-1941 (2-1) then was 1-0 for New York in 1941.

Apart from his work in the CWL and in the Negro Leagues, Ruiz pitched several games between Cuban squads and visiting Americans back home, going 1-2 against major league teams and 2-1 against Negro League outfits.