Ricardo Sandate

From BR Bullpen

Richard M. Sandate García

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Ricardo Sandate was a minor league pitcher for 20 years, becoming one of the top American pitchers in the Mexican League in the 20th Century.

Sandate was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 22nd round of the 1968 amateur draft. He debuted as a pro that year with the Magic Valley Cowboys, going 3-2 with a 3.15 ERA and striking out 39 in 40 innings. Had he qualified, he would have ranked 5th in the Pioneer League in ERA. He only pitched four games for the 1969 Cowboys, going 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA and 9 K in 9 IP.

In 1970, the Texan southpaw was 3-7 with a save and a 4.17 ERA for the Greenwood Braves. He split '71 between Greenwood (10 H, 7 BB, 6 R in 5 IP) and the Piratas de Sabinas (3-2, 1.58, 29 H in 40 IP) to start his long career in the Mexican League.

Sandate was 10-6 with a 3.51 ERA for the Piratas in 1972, then fell to 4-12 with 3 saves and a 3.92 ERA in 1973. In both '72 and '73, he was a teammate of Ernesto Carlos Kuk Lee (they would team up again in 1982), whom he finished just ahead of on the all-time Mexican League ERA leaderboard.

Ricardo was 6-14 with 2 saves and a 2.46 ERA for the 1974 Leones de Yucatán; despite his poor record, he was 8th in the Liga Mexicana in ERA. He moved to the Poza Rica Oilers in '75 and he put together his career year. He went 13-6 with a save and a 1.42 ERA. He struck out 161 in 177 innings while allowing 140 hits. He led the league in ERA and was named one of two All-Star pitchers. He also made a brief return to his homeland, going 1-3 with a save and a 4.20 ERA in 7 games for the Toledo Mud Hens.

In 1976, Sandate was 14-13 with a save and a 2.22 ERA and whiffed 220 in 216 innings while allowing only 6 homers; he was 9th in the circuit in ERA and 19 strikeouts behind leader Enrique Romo. For the 1977 Oilers, Sandate went 15-15 with 3 saves and a 2.50 ERA, striking out 193 in 241 innings and surrendering just 7 gopher balls. On April 18, he pitched a Mexican League-record 19 innings in a game only to lose, 2-0, to the Puebla Angels.

The lean left-hander was 13-13 with a save and a 2.51 ERA for Poza Rica in '78, then 16-12 with a save and a 2.33 ERA in 1979. In 1980, he concluded his six-year stint with the club by going 5-5 with a 2.45 ERA. Joining the Mexico City Red Devils in 1981, Sandate was 6-7 with a 3.10 ERA. In '82, he went 13-5 with a 2.47 ERA for Poza Rica.

It is unclear where Sandate spent 1983-1984. He returned to the Mexican League in 1985 with the Rieleros de Aguascalientes and posted a 10-7, 5.21 record, easily the highest ERA of his career in Mexico. The league had its most explosive offensive campaign in '86 but Sandate held his own with the Campeche Pirates, going 13-13 with 3 saves and a 3.47 ERA; had he qualified, he would have ranked 9th in the circuit in ERA. In 1987, he was 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA for the Monclova Steelers to wrap things up.

Overall, Ricardo had gone 142-131 with 15 saves and a 2.80 ERA in 373 games in the Mexican League with 1,766 strikeouts in 2,307 1/3 IP. Through 2000, he ranked 3rd all-time in league annals in ERA among pitchers with 2,000 IP, trailing only former major leaguers Vicente Romo and George Brunet; former teammate Ernesto Carlos Kuk Lee was .01 behind him for 4th. Sandate also was 8th in strikeouts, between Alfredo Ortiz and Arturo González.

Sandate debuted on the Salón de la Fama ballot in 2005; he has remained on the ballot for five years but has not been voted in (as of 2009).

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