Álvaro Espinoza

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Álvaro Espinoza
Alvaro Espinoza (baseball player).JPG
Espinoza batting in 1990
Shortstop
Born: (1962-02-19) February 19, 1962 (age 52)
Valencia, Carabobo State, Venezuela
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 14, 1984 for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
July 12, 1997 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
Batting average .254
Home runs 22
Runs batted in 201
Teams
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Espinoza and the second or maternal family name is Ramírez.

Álvaro Alberto Espinoza Ramírez [es-pe-noh'-zah] (born February 19, 1962) is a former Venezuelan shortstop in Major League Baseball. He batted and threw right-handed.

Early life[edit]

Born in Valencia, Carabobo, he graduated from Pedro Gual High School where he played baseball, soccer and basketball.

Playing career[edit]

As a young prospect, Espinoza was let go by the Houston Astros system. But he went on to have twelve decent seasons with the Minnesota Twins (1984–1986), New York Yankees (1988–1991), Cleveland Indians (1993–1996), New York Mets (1996) and Seattle Mariners (1997).

Although a free swinger, Espinoza was a good bat handler and contact hitter. His game was to simply put the ball in play and not try to hit for power. As a baserunner, he had average speed.

Probably, he was not among the most gifted athletes ever to play shortstop, but he positioned himself extremely well and got to many balls that might have eluded some flashier shortstops. A sure-handed fielder, he had a strong throwing arm and found many ways to turn a double play, as well as his concentration and knowledge of the game were his main assets.

In a 12-season career, Espinoza hit a .254 average with 22 home runs and 201 RBI in 942 games, including 252 runs, 105 doubles, nine triples, and 13 stolen bases.

Espinoza's was one of New York Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard's favorite names to announce.[1]

He was also noted for his bubble gum hat antics, as well as other practical jokes he and teammmate Wayne Kirby used to play on the 1995 Cleveland Indians.

Coaching career[edit]

Following his playing career after the 1997 season, Espinoza turned to coaching. In 1998, he worked with the Montreal Expos as their minor league infield coordinator.

Hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Espinoza made his managerial debut in 1999 and guided Class-A Vero Beach to a 48–85 record in the Florida State League. He spent 2000 and 2001 as the Dodgers Minor League Roving Infield Coordinator.

In 2002, Espinoza was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and then named their infield Instructor in 2004.

Milestone[edit]

Interestingly, Espinoza joined Ruppert JonesDave KingmanRicky Nelson and José Canseco as the only players to hit a fair ball that got stuck in a stadium obstruction. Jones and Nelson both had hits get caught in the overhead speakers at the old Kingdome. The balls hit by Kingman and Espinoza were at the Minneapolis Metrodome, with Kingman's getting stuck in a drainage valve and Espinoza's lodging in an overhead speaker.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]