Alex Ramírez

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For the Chicago White Sox player, see Alexei Ramírez.
Alex Ramírez
YG-Alex-Ramirez.jpg
Outfielder
Born: (1974-10-03) 3 October 1974 (age 40)
Caracas, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Professional debut
19 September, 1998 for the Cleveland Indians
NPB statistics
(through 2011 season)
Batting average .303
Home runs 359
Runs batted in 1182
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Alexander Ramón Ramírez (born on 15 August 1974) is a Venezuelan baseball outfielder who currently plays for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He is the first foreign-born player to record 2,000 hits while playing in NPB. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians (1998–2000) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2000). He bats and throws right-handed.

Professional Baseball Career[edit]

American career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

He was named the Indians' 1998 Minor League Player of the Year (receiving the "Lou Boudreau Award").[1][2]

Major League Baseball career[edit]

In three MLB seasons, Ramírez batted .259 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI, 38 runs, 17 doubles, three triples, and three stolen bases in 135 games.

Nippon Professional Baseball career[edit]

After the 2000 season, Ramírez signed with the Yakult Swallows (2001–2007) and was their cleanup hitter. He did hold the Central League (Japan) record for most base hits in a single season (204) set in 2007, but Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton would surpass this with 214 hits in 2010. Due to contract issues (Ramírez wanted a multi-year contract, but the Swallows offered a one-year contract), he decided to sign with the Yomiuri Giants before the 2008 season.

In 2008, Ramírez led the Central League with 125 RBI while hitting .319 (6th in the league) with 45 home runs (2nd). He also hit two home runs in Game 2 of the Japan Series, including one in the bottom of the ninth to win Game 2.

At the end of the 2008 season, Ramírez won the Central League MVP Award to become the third Venezuelan player to be honored with the title in Japanese Baseball, joining Roberto Petagine (Central League, 2001) and Alex Cabrera (Pacific League, 2002).[3]

After playing eight seasons in NPB, he obtained FA Right in 2008, and he is also not bound to the restriction of the number of non-Japanese players on each team. Which only very few non-Japanese player have such right. In 2009, he became the second player to obtain overseas FA right allowing him to play overseas (though due to his previous stint in the Major Leagues, he was already exempt from the posting system between the NPB and the MLB) and the fastest foreign player to accumulate 1500 hits in NPB.

On July 5, 2012, Ramirez recorded his 2,000 career hit (with 1,914 in Japan and 86 in MLB), which was commonly recognized as reaching the qualification for a possible invitation to Meikyukai, a private club which recognizes Japan’s elite players and no Western players by then was invited.[4] Though, he was ineligible invited as the Meikyukai stated records before a player started his NPB career could not be counted (meaning his 86 MLB hits don't count). On April 6, 2013, Ramirez hit a home run to record his 2,000 career hit in NPB, and became the 42nd player and the first foreign player to accomplish the feat, and joined Meikyukai.[5]

Career statistics[edit]

Nippon Professional Baseball
Year Age Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI SB AVG
2001 27 Yakult 138 510 60 143 23 0 29 253 88 1 .280
2002 28 Yakult 139 539 65 159 25 0 24 256 92 0 .295
2003 29 Yakult 140 567 105 189 34 3 40 349 124 4 .333
2004 30 Yakult 129 525 79 160 30 2 31 287 110 2 .305
2005 31 Yakult 146 596 70 168 19 1 32 285 104 5 .282
2006 32 Yakult 146 603 79 161 28 2 26 271 112 0 .267
2007 33 Yakult 144 594 80 204 41 3 29 338 122 0 .343
2008 34 Yomiuri 144 548 84 175 28 0 45 338 125 1 .319
2009 35 Yomiuri 144 577 66 186 35 0 31 314 103 4 .322
2010 36 Yomiuri 144 566 93 172 28 0 49 347 129 1 .304
2011 37 Yomiuri 137 477 39 133 12 1 23 216 73 2 .279
2012 38 DeNa 137 476 40 143 25 0 19 225 76 0 .300

Statistics current as of 23 October 2011

Business career[edit]

In February 2013, Alex Ramirez started, with his wife and his son, a restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, called Ramichan Cafe, serving the cuisine of Puerto Rico, where his wife grew up.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Ramirez is a Christian. Ramirez has spoken about his faith saying, "I believe (continuing to play baseball) is my desire, but it’s not my life. God has already blessed me with this career, and whatever God has planned for me, I will be happy to follow that, whether or not I play baseball again. It’s not what I want; it’s what God wants for me."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minor League Player of the Year by Team". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Cabrera, Laffey Receive '07 Honors". Scout.com. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (22 November 2008). "Alexander Ramírez elegido el Jugador Más Valioso". El Nacional. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  4. ^ Lefton, Brad (July 7, 2012). "Where No Westerner in Japan Has Gone". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ Coskrey, Jason (April 9, 2013). "Ramirez possibly top foreign-born player ever in NPB". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ Lider en Deportes. "Álex Ramírez inauguró restaurante en Japón". Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Life’s Crossroads". 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sean Casey
Indians' Minor League Player of the Year
(the Lou Boudreau Award)

1998
Succeeded by
Scott Morgan