Ugueth Urbina

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Ugueth Urbina
Born: (1974-02-15) February 15, 1974 (age 40)
Caracas, Venezuela
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 9, 1995 for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 2005 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Win–Loss record 44–49
Earned run average 3.45
Strikeouts 814
Saves 237
Career highlights and awards
Ugueth Urtaín Urbina Villarreal
Born (1974-02-15) February 15, 1974 (age 40)
Caracas, Venezuela
Criminal charge
Attempted murder, illegal deprivation of liberty
Criminal penalty
14 years in prison (served 7)
Criminal status Released
Conviction(s) Found guilty on March 28, 2007
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Urbina and the second or maternal family name is Villarreal.

Ugueth Urtaín Urbina Villarreal (/ˈɡɛt ʊərˈbnə/; born February 15, 1974) is a Venezuelan former relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. A two-time All-Star, Urbina led the National League in saves with 41 in the 1999 season and helped the Florida Marlins win the 2003 World Series. He is the only player in major league history with the initials "UU" or "UUU".[1]

Playing career[edit]

In 11 major league seasons, Urbina compiled a 44–49 record with 237 saves, 814 strikeouts, and a 3.45 ERA. He played with the Montreal Expos (1995–2001), Boston Red Sox (2001–2002), Texas Rangers (2003), Florida Marlins (2003), Detroit Tigers (2004–2005), and Philadelphia Phillies (2005).

Montreal Expos (1995–2001)[edit]

Urbina started his career as a reliever with the Montreal Expos, where he pitched for six seasons and was an All-Star once, in 1998.

As a 21-year old in 1995, he pitched in 7 games, starting 4, and went 2–2 with a 6.17 ERA. In 1996, Urbina established himself on Montreal's pitching staff, as he appeared in 33 games, starting 17. He went 10–5 with a 3.71 ERA. In 1997, his career as a closer began. He had 27 saves and a 3.71 ERA in 63 games. In 1998, Urbina appeared in 64 games, notching 34 saves and a 1.30 ERA. In 1999, he led the league in saves with 41 and had a 3.69 ERA in 71 games. In 2000, Urbina was injured and limited to 13 appearances. In 2001, Urbina started the season well before being traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 31, notching 15 saves in 45 games.

Boston Red Sox (2001–2002)[edit]

Urbina was traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 31, 2001, for Tomo Ohka and Rich Rundles. He appeared in 19 games, saving nine and compiling a 2.25 ERA.

Urbina had his second All-Star game appearance in 2002, when he saved 40 games in 61 appearances and had a 3.00 ERA.

Texas Rangers (2003)[edit]

Urbina left Boston as a free agent after the 2002 season, and signed with the Texas Rangers for one year on December 23, 2002.

Before being traded on July 11, Urbina had 26 saves and a 4.19 ERA in 39 games.

Florida Marlins (2003)[edit]

He was traded on July 11, 2003, to the Florida Marlins for Adrian Gonzalez, and Ryan Snare.

For the remainder of the season, Urbina was a set up man, going 3–0 with a 1.41 ERA and 6 saves in 33 games. His total statistics for the 2003 season were: 54 games, 32 saves, and a 2.81 ERA.

He finished his short stint with the team by helping them win the 2003 World Series, defeating the New York Yankees in six games. During the postseason (his only one while in the majors), he appeared in 10 games, going 1–0 with a 3.46 ERA and saved 4 games.

Detroit Tigers (2004–2005)[edit]

Urbina signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Tigers on March 29, 2004.

2004 marked Urbina's last season where he was closer for at least part of the season. In 54 games, he went 4–6 with a 4.50 ERA and 21 saves.

In 2005, he began the season in good form, maintaining a 2.63 ERA and notching 9 saves. However, he was traded for the third time in his career, this time to the Phillies.

Philadelphia Phillies (2005)[edit]

On June 8, 2005, the Tigers traded Urbina with Ramon Martinez to the Philadelphia Phillies for infielder Plácido Polanco.

In 56 games, Urbina went 4–6 a 4.13 ERA.

He played his final game on October 2, 2005, for the Phillies.

Pitching attributes[edit]

Urbina's pitches included a moving fastball and a slider that enabled him to hold left-handed hitters in check. He also threw a changeup which tailed away from right-handers and a splitter that broke sharply.[citation needed]

Mother's kidnapping[edit]

In September 2004, Urbina's 54-year old mother, Maura Villarreal, was kidnapped and held for a $6 million ransom in southwest Venezuela. Urbina's family refused to pay the ransom and an anti-kidnapping unit rescued her in a military-style operation on February 18, 2005.[2]

Attempted murder conviction[edit]

On November 7, 2005, Urbina was arrested by Venezuelan authorities on a charge of attempted murder for an incident that occurred a few weeks previous, on October 16.[3] Urbina attacked five farm workers on his property whom he had accused of stealing a gun. The pitcher tried to injure the men with a machete and also attempted to pour gasoline on them.[4] On March 28, 2007, Urbina was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to fourteen years and seven months in prison.[5] He was released, however, on December 24, 2012, after serving just five years and nine months of his sentence.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Baseball Players with Last Names Starting with U". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  2. ^ "At least one abductor killed in rescue mission". Associated Press. February 19, 2005. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ Shpigel, Ben (November 9, 2005). "Urbina Held in Venezuela". New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2008. 
  4. ^ "50 Most Crooked Athletes in Sports History". Bleacher Report. July 13, 2011. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  5. ^ "Urbina Given 14 Years For Attempted Murder". New York Times. March 29, 2007. Retrieved August 10, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Ugueth Urbina prison". The Chicago Tribune. December 25, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]