Tito Figueroa

From BR Bullpen

José Antonio Figueroa

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 190 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Tito Figueroa pitched in the Negro Leagues and for the Puerto Rican national team. The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues lists him as being the brother of Tite Figueroa but Seamheads (as of 9/14/2020) does not list this relationship nor can any corroborating Spanish-language sources be found as of that date. [1]

Figueroa won Gold in the javelin throw in both the 1935 Central American and Caribbean Games (59.32 m) and 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games (64.11); the latter mark remained the Central American and Caribbean Games record for 16 years. [2] He is also listed as winning Gold in volleyball [3] but this is not confirmed by the list of players on Puerto Rico's Gold Medal-winning volleyball team at pentathlon.org; interestingly, the 1935 team had future major leaguer Hiram Bithorn. [4] He was also the only pitcher to beat the Cuban national team in baseball, beating Juan Decall; while Cuba got the Gold, though, Puerto Rico did not get a medal in baseball. It was only the third loss in the history of the Cuban national team. He also lost two complete games to Nicaragua, against José Miranda and José Meléndez. [5]

When the Puerto Rican League formed in 1938-1939, he struck out a league-leading 86 for the Indios de Mayagüez. He was the only Puerto Rican to lead the league in whiffs in its first four years as Satchel Paige, Dave Barnhill and Leon Day followed him. [6] He came to the US in 1940 but struggled with the New York Cubans; Seamheads.com lists him at 1-6, 5.92 (89 ERA+) in 9 games while the BR register lists 2-7, 5.53 in 8 games. He tied Emery Adams for 5th in the Negro National League in losses per the Seamheads database. [7]

Injuries cut his career short. [8] He was part of the second class of the Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame. [9]