Higuera in 1991
November 9, 1958 |
Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
|Batted: Both||Threw: Left|
|April 23, 1985 for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 9, 1994 for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Earned run average||3.61|
|Career highlights and awards|
Teodoro Higuera Valenzuela (born November 9, 1958 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico) is a former pitcher in Major League Baseball. He played for nine years (1985–1991 and 1993–1994) for the Milwaukee Brewers, at that time of the American League.
In 1983, the Brewers purchased his contract from Indios de Ciudad Juárez of the Mexican League. After one year in the minor leagues, Higuera earned a spot in the team's 1985 rotation after winning a competition with Japanese pitcher Yutaka Enatsu. In his first season with Milwaukee, he posted a 15–8 record with a 3.90 ERA en route to winning the The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award in 1985.
1986 was one of Higuera's best seasons. He had his only 20-win season, going 20–11 with 207 strikeouts and a 2.79 ERA. It was the first 20-win season by a Mexican-born pitcher in the American League. That season, he was also selected for his only All-Star Game appearance. In the game, Fernando Valenzuela struck Higuera out in the fifth inning to tie Carl Hubbell's record with five consecutive strikeouts.
He followed up his 1986 campaign by winning 18 games in 1987 and setting team marks for strikeouts (240) and consecutive scoreless innings (32).
Over his first four years in the league, Higuera had a won loss record of 69–38, 766 strikeouts and a 3.25 ERA and was poised for greater success. However, he began to suffer injury problems that would limit his playing time.
Injuries and retirement
Back surgery and sprained ankles limited him to 22 starts in 1989, although he came back to go 9–6. He was healthy for most of 1990 but had a record of 11–10 with 129 strikeouts. Nevertheless, the Brewers were convinced that he could return to form and signed him to a four-year, $13.1 million contract.
Higuera tore his rotator cuff in 1991 and endured several surgeries. He missed the entire 1992 season and saw limited action in 1993 and 1994. The Brewers did not offer him a contract in 1995 and Higuera attempted his comeback with the San Diego Padres. He did not make the team and retired that season.
Higuera has served as a pitching coach for his native Mexico in the 2006, 2009, and 2013 World Baseball Classic. In 2011, Higuera was inducted into the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.
- All Star Game Records, The Sports Network (published by the San Jose Mercury News)
- Milwaukee Brewer Team Records – From Brewers Official Website
- Tom Haudricourt, Contract is biggest in Brewers history, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Higuera Hooks Up with Padres, New York Times, 4/11/95