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Common Name:
Martin Dihigo
Born:

May 24, 1905 in Matanzas, Cuba

Bats:
Right
Full Name:
Martín Magdaleno Dihigo
Major League Debut:
June 15, 1923
Throws:
Right
Primary Uniform:
17
Nick Names:
"El Maestro" in Mexico and "El Immortal" in Cuba
Positions Played:
Pitcher, 2nd Base, Outfield
Primary Position:
Pitcher

Teams Played For:

Cuban Stars, Homestead Grays, Philadelphia Hilldales, the Baltimore Black Sox, and the New York Cubans.

Post Season:

He led his team to 14 Japan Series and won it 11 times, nine of them consecutively.

In 77 Japan Series games, Oh belted 29 home runs. That is better than his regular season average.

Awards:

Martin Dihigo is the only man to ever be elected in to the Cuban, Mexican, and United States Baseball Halls of Fame.

Dihigo finished his career winning three Negro League home run crowns and tied Josh Gibson for another. As a pitcher, he racked up more than 200 wins in American and Mexican ball.

Dihigo was arguably the greatest Cuban ballplayer of all time. His speed, size, and strong throwing arm made him one of the most versatile players in baseball history. During his 30-year career, Dihigo played every position on the field. Sometimes more than one in the same game.

To appreciate how gifted Dihigo was, in 1938 in the Mexican League his .387 average won the batting title and as a pitcher he was 18-2 with an 0.90 earned run average.

Dihigo is credited with pitching the first “Perfect Game” (no-hits, no-runs scored) in Mexican League history when he blanked Nogales, 4-0, in Veracruz, Mexico in 1937. That same year, Dihigo hit .351.

In the decades before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier after World War II, Dihigo could not play in the major leagues. Instead, he played in the Negro leagues, mostly for the New York Cubans (his eventual ticket to Cooperstown).

In a classic moment that same year, Dihigo met Satchel Paige in a much-anticipated pitching match-up that has become a Mexican League legend. Paige, hindered by a sore arm and relying on underhand and trick pitches, battled Dihigo for six scoreless innings. In the seventh, Paige's control faltered. After two walks and a single loaded the bases, he threw a wild pitch, giving Dihigo's team the lead. Paige left for a pinch hitter, and his team later tied the game, 1-1. Dihigo took matters into his own hands in the ninth and made a home run to win the game.

Dihigo served as the Minister of Sports in Cuba, until his death at age 65 in 1971.

Quote:

"Dihigo was the only guy I ever saw who could play all nine positions, manage, run and switch-hit."

— Johnny Mize, the Hall of Fame first baseman who finished his career with the Yankees and once played for a team Dihigo managed in the Dominican Republic Winter League in 1943.

"Dihigo was the best all around baseball player I've ever seen,"
— Baseball Hall of Fame member Buck Leonard.

“Dihigo was one of the greatest I ever saw. He was tremendous hitter, had great power, could hit for an average, everything.”
— Hall of famer, Roy Campanella, Brooklyn Dodgers

Hall of Fame

Inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame - 1977

 

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