July 22, 1921 |
New York, New York
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|April 15, 1952 for the St. Louis Browns|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 30, 1961 for the Kansas City Athletics|
|Career highlights and awards|
Manuel Joseph "Jim" Rivera (born July 22, 1921) is a former American Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder. He played on 3 teams and for 10 seasons, 1952 through 1961. He played for the St. Louis Browns (1952), Chicago White Sox (1952–1961) and Kansas City Athletics (1961).
Rivera was born to Puerto Rican immigrants in New York City, New York. He was first called "Jim" when he was 17, "Big Jim" when he started playing for the Chicago White Sox during the 1952 season, and then "Jungle Jim" in 1953 which was initiated by a Chicago Sun-Times sports writer. This was due largely to his unorthodox playing style, and for his highly extroverted personality. Rivera threw and batted left-handed; he stood 6 feet tall and weighed 196 pounds during his playing days.
In 1953, he led the American League in triples (16) and in 1955, with 25 stolen bases. He was a sparkplug for the 1950s Go-Go White Sox team which eventually won the American League pennant in 1959. A smart and fast runner, Rivera ran the bases with abandon, sliding into bases on his belly before it was fashionable, and made many a game-saving catch playing right field. A ground ball hitter, he used his speed to full advantage and was a much tougher in clutch situations. (He did, however, go hitless in 11 at-bats in the 1959 World Series.)
Rivera had a .256 lifetime batting average with 83 home runs, 422 RBIs, 503 runs, 155 doubles, and 56 triples in 1171 games played. He also had a career total of 160 stolen bases and a lifetime .978 fielding average.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Baseball Library
- Smiley, Richard, Jim Rivera, SABR Baseball Biography Project