Alomar at the 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Parade
February 5, 1968 |
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Batted: Switch||Threw: Right|
|April 22, 1988 for the San Diego Padres|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 5, 2004 for the Chicago White Sox|
|Runs batted in||1,134|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||90.0% (second ballot)|
Roberto "Robbie" Alomar Velázquez (//; Spanish pronunciation: [aloˈmar]; born February 5, 1968) is a former Major League Baseball player (1988–2004), regarded by many as one of the best second basemen in MLB history. During his career, the 12-time All-Star won more Gold Gloves (10) than any other second baseman in history, and also won the second-most Silver Slugger Awards (4) for a second baseman. On January 5, 2011, Alomar was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, in his second year of eligibility. He became the first Hall of Fame member to be inducted as a Toronto Blue Jays player. Currently, Alomar serves as a Special Advisor to the Blue Jays.
Alomar was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He is the son of Sandy Alomar, Sr., a former All-Star second baseman with a 15-year MLB career. His older brother, Sandy Alomar, Jr., was a Major League All-Star catcher and is now a bench coach for the Cleveland Indians.
Early life 
San Diego Padres 
In 1985, Alomar signed with the San Diego Padres at age 17, and joined the team's Class-A affiliate in Charleston. The following year, playing in Reno, he won the California League batting championship with a .346 average.
Alomar broke into the Major Leagues in 1988 with the Padres, where he was regarded as an excellent fielder with speed and a solid bat. Defensively, he displayed excellent lateral range and a powerful arm, often making spectacular plays on ground balls hit deep in the hole between first and second base, and on balls hit up the middle well behind second base. He was an All-Star for the first time in 1990, as a reserve player for the National League.
Toronto Blue Jays 
On December 5, 1990, Alomar and Joe Carter were traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernández. It was in Toronto that he developed into a premier offensive second baseman, combining a .300-plus batting average with above average power and high end speed on the bases. In 1993, Alomar had his best season with the Jays, producing 17 home runs, 93 RBI and 55 stolen bases, while batting .326, third in the league behind teammates John Olerud and Paul Molitor. He was a central figure in Toronto's World Series championships in 1992 and 1993; in Game 6 of the 1992 World Series, he scored the series-winning run on Dave Winfield's two-run double in the 11th inning. Alomar's game-tying, ninth inning home run against Oakland relief ace Dennis Eckersley, in Game 4 of the 1992 American League Championship Series, is considered by many as the most important hit in the club's history, as the team's three previous trips to the ALCS had ended in disappointment; he was the Most Valuable Player of the ALCS. In each of his five seasons with the Blue Jays, Alomar was on the All-Star team and won the Gold Glove Award. His .307 career batting average as a Blue Jay is a franchise record, and he was the Blue Jays Player of the Year in 1991, 1992 and 1995.
On March 20, 2008, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Alomar would be elevated to the Level of Excellence at Toronto's Rogers Centre, joining such Blue Jay legends as George Bell, Joe Carter, Tony Fernández and Cito Gaston. On April 4, 2008, Alomar's name and number were added to the Level of Excellence, along with team executive Paul Beeston, prior to the 2008 home opener. Alomar and Beeston were presented commissioned portraits at the ceremony.
On July 19, 2011, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they would retire Alomar's number 12 soon after his official induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Roberto Alomar is the first player in Blue Jays franchise history to have this honor, which took place on July 31, 2011. Alomar is the first player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame depicted as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Baltimore Orioles 
In 1995, Alomar signed with the Baltimore Orioles at a time when Toronto was looking to rebuild, while Baltimore was improving into a pennant-contending team. In Baltimore, Alomar paired with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. to form a formidable double-play combination. Alomar appeared in the playoffs in 1996 and 1997 for the Orioles, although the Orioles were defeated in the ALCS in both years.
Spitting incident 
On September 27, 1996, during a game against the Blue Jays, Alomar got into a heated argument over a called third strike with umpire John Hirschbeck and spat in his face. He defended himself by saying Hirschbeck had uttered a racial slur and that Hirschbeck had been bitter since one son had died of ALD and another had been recently diagnosed as well. Upon hearing this public disclosure of his private life, Hirschbeck had to be physically restrained from confronting Alomar in the players' locker room.
Alomar was suspended for the first five regular season games in 1997 and donated $50,000 to ALD research. Alomar and Hirschbeck settled their differences publicly and made apologies to each other on April 22, 1997, standing at home plate and shaking hands in front of the crowd before an Orioles game. Regarding the incident at his retirement, Alomar said, "That, to me, is over and done. It happened over nine years ago. We are now great friends. We have done some things with charity. God put us maybe in this situation for something. But I think people who know me, people who have had the chance to be with me on the same team, know what kind of person I am. Anything I ever did wrong, I would confront it and now it is OK."
Cleveland Indians 
On November 24, 1998, Alomar signed a 4-year contract with the Cleveland Indians, joining his brother, Sandy Jr. It was in Cleveland that Roberto had two of his finest seasons. In 1999 he hit .323/.422/.533 with 24 HRs, 120 RBI and 37 stolen bases, and in 2001 he batted .336/.415/.541 with 20 HRs, 100 RBI and 30 steals. Cleveland made the playoffs in 1999, losing in the ALDS to the Red Sox; in 2001 they again made the playoffs but lost to Seattle in the ALDS. Alomar finished third in MVP voting in 1999.
On the field, Alomar teamed with shortstop Omar Vizquel to form another decorated middle infield combination. In 2000, with Vizquel committing just three errors all season long, the entire Cleveland infield committed 34 errors—just one more than the record low set by the New York Mets infield the year before. Vizquel, Alomar and third baseman Travis Fryman each won the Gold Glove Award that season; the Vizquel-Alomar duo ultimately won three consecutive Gold Gloves together, becoming one of just eight shortstop-second baseman duos to have accomplished this feat in the same year.
Last years 
In 2002, Alomar hit only .266/.331/.376 with 53 RBI and 73 runs scored, while falling apart defensively at second base. The Mets were puzzled by Alomar's mediocre play, which some attributed to his lack of comfort with being under the greater scrutiny of the New York fans and media. However, not even a midseason trade back to the American League to the Chicago White Sox in 2003 could revive Alomar from his funk. There was more misery ahead with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004, including a two-month disabled stint with a broken right hand. On August 5, Alomar returned to the White Sox, and hit just .263/.321/.392 in 56 games.
Alomar agreed to a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for the 2005 season. However, on March 19, 2005, after a spring plagued by back and vision trouble, he decided to retire.
In a 17-year career, Alomar was a .300/.371/.443 hitter, with 210 home runs and 1,134 RBI in 2,379 games. At the time of his retirement, he was 51st all-time with 2,724 career hits.
Hall of Fame induction 
|Roberto Alomar's number 12 was retired by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011.|
2010 was Alomar's first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, but he missed induction by eight votes. His 73.7% of the vote was the highest percentage of votes in any player's first year on the ballot without being elected. Some baseball writers expressed shock that Alomar failed to get in on the first ballot, but many attributed the near-miss to sportswriters holding a grudge over the 1996 spitting incident with John Hirschbeck, including Alomar's brother Sandy and Hirschbeck himself. Alomar was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility with 90% of the vote (523 of 581 ballots cast). He is the third Puerto Rican in the Hall of Fame, after Roberto Clemente and Orlando Cepeda. On July 24, 2011, Alomar was formally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Despite his number already being placed on the Blue Jays Level of Excellence, on July 31, 2011, the Toronto Blue Jays officially retired Alomar's #12 as the first retired number in franchise history.
Personal life 
Alomar married Puerto Rican model Maripily Rivera on June 1, 2009. The next year, Rivera alleged that she had been victim of aggression from Alomar, and that she wanted to end the marriage. Rivera alleged she had been the victim of three separate incidents of domestic abuse where Alomar allegedly pushed her, and threatened her with a knife. Alomar denied the claims, and filed for divorce a few days later. He also alleged that Rivera had threatened to divorce him unless he gave her half ownership of his Tampa residence. In the midst of the scandal, rumors that Alomar had HIV resurfaced, and Rivera sued him for allegedly exposing her to the virus, even though she had defended him previously when an ex-girlfriend made the same claims. The divorce was finalized on July 12, 2011 with a private settlement.
Allegations of HIV transmission 
In January 2009, Alomar's ex-girlfriend Ilya Dall filed a $15 million lawsuit, claiming that he lied to her about his HIV status so they could have unprotected sex. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Alomar issued a statement responding to the allegations by saying that he was "in very good health" and that the lawsuit was "filled with lies." That May, the lawsuit was voluntarily withdrawn after a settlement was reached. In October 2010, his ex-wife, Maria Del Pilar "Maripily" Rivera Alomar, sued him with similar allegations. Despite the allegations, neither woman has tested positive for HIV, and a longtime friend of Alomar described them as gold diggers who "smell money."
Career milestones 
Alomar established several milestones for a second baseman, including 12 straight All-Star appearances (1990–2001), and a record 10 Gold Gloves at the position (1991–96, 1998–2001). He also:
- batted over .300 nine times (1992–97, 1999–2001)
- posted an on-base pct. over .400 five times (1992–93, 1996, 1999, 2001)
- scored 100 or more runs six times (1992–93, 1996, 1999–2001)
- drove in 100 or more runs twice (1999, 2001)
- stole 30 or more bases eight times (1989, 1991–93, 1995, 1999–2001)
- won four Silver Slugger awards (1992, 1996, 1999–2000)
- was inducted into the Hall of Fame
See also 
- Major League Baseball All-Star Game MVP Award
- List of Gold Glove Award winners at second base
- List of Silver Slugger Award winners at second base
- List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
- List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
- List of Major League Baseball players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- List of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- List of Gold Glove middle infield duos
- List of second generation Major League Baseball players
- List of players from Puerto Rico in Major League Baseball
- List of famous Puerto Ricans
- Porter, David L. (2004). Latino and African American athletes today: a biographical dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-313-32048-4. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- "12-time All-Star retires; has back, vision problems". ESPN (ESPN Internet Ventures). Associated Press. March 19, 2005. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- Namee, Matthew (June 28, 2004). "Roberto Alomar: A Forgotten Legend?". The Hardball Times. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- "Silver Slugger Award Winners - National League". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- Kepner, Tyler (January 5, 2011). "Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven Elected to Hall of Fame". The New York Times.
- Blue Jays to retire Alomar’s jersey Retrieved 12-07-2012
- Britton, John A (2002) . In Dawson, Dawn P. Great Athletes 1 (Revised ed.). Salem Press. pp. 49–51. ISBN 1-58765-008-8.
- Van Hyning, Thomas E.; Eduardo Valero (2004). Puerto Rico's Winter League: A History of Major League Baseball's Launching Pad. McFarland. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-7864-1970-8. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- Wolpin, Stewart; Robinson, James G. "Roberto Alomar". BaseballLibrary.com. Idea Logical Company. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- "Roberto Alomar from the Chronology". BaseballLibrary.com. Idea Logical Company. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
- Gillick, Alomar fittingly enter Hall together MLB.com. Accessed on February 24, 2012.
- "Blue Jays to retire Alomar’s No. 12". thestar.com. The Toronto Star. Archived from name=Roberto_Alomar_1968&page=chronology the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- Wulf, Steve (June 24, 2001). "The Spit Hits The Fan". Time Magazine. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Rosenthal, Ken (2010-01-08). "Snub of Alomar exposes flaw in voting". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Hall of Fame voting, 2010
- Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Induction, 2010
- Ribas, Fernando (January 26, 2011). "Dedican Serie del Caribe a Roberto Alomar". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish) (El Nuevo Dia). Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- Fish, Mike (December 1, 2012). "Drama follows retired baseball All-Star". ESPN.
- Vargas, Patricia (July 12, 2011). "Maripily divorciada y millonaria". El Nuevo Día.
- Gómez, María Gabriela (July 12, 2011). "Maripily ya esta divorciada". Primera Hora.
- Elliott, Bob (December 12, 2012). "Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar marries in Toronto on 12-12-12". Toronto Sun.
- "Alomar Responds to AIDS Claims". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Martinez, Bobby (October 7, 2010). "Wife accuses Roberto Alomar of exposing her to HIV". New York Post.
- Roberto Alomar Enters Hall of Fame. FoxNews.com. 7/24/2011
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Roberto Alomar's Official Site
- Roberto Alomar Career Biography and Statistics
- The Baseball Page Career Biography and Statistics