Ramirez celebrating his 2000 career hits in 2013
|Yokohama DeNA BayStars – No. 80|
3 October 1974 |
|MLB: 19 September, 1998, for the Cleveland Indians|
|NPB: March 30, 2001, for the Yakult Swallows|
|MLB: September, 27, 2000, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|NPB: October, 8, 2013, for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars|
|Runs batted in||48|
|Runs batted in||1272|
As a player:
|Career highlights and awards|
Alexander Ramón Ramírez (born 15 August 1974) is a Venezuelan former professional baseball outfielder who had a long career in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He is the first foreign-born player to record 2,000 hits while playing in NPB. Before playing in Japan, he played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians (1998–2000) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2000). He batted and threw right-handed.
In October 2015 he was named as the BayStars manager for the 2016 season.
Professional baseball career
American minor leagues
Major League Baseball
Nippon Professional Baseball career
After the 2000 season, Ramírez signed with the Yakult Swallows (2001–2007) and was their cleanup hitter. During his final season with the Swallows he set the Central League record for most base hits in a single season (204). (This record did not stand long: Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton surpassed Ramírez's tally en route to finishing the 2010 season with 214 hits.)
The 2007 season, however, proved to be Ramírez's last with the Swallows, who did offer him the multi-year contract he sought. Instead, the outfielder signed with the Yomiuri Giants for the 2008 season. Ramírez quickly flourished with his new team. In 2008, he 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. He was the third Venezuelan player to be so honored in Japanese Baseball, joining Roberto Petagine (Central League, 2001) and Alex Cabrera (Pacific League, 2002).
After playing eight seasons in NPB, he obtained FA Right in 2008 and became exempt from the restriction of the number of non-Japanese players on each team. Very few non-Japanese players have accrued enough service time in the NPB to earn such rights. 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 April 6, 2013, however, Ramirez hit a home run to record his 2,000 career hit in the NPB, becoming the 42nd player and the first foreign player to accomplish the feat. This accomplishment also earned Ramírez an invitation to the Meikyukai, a private club recognizing Japan's elite players. He was the first Western player to be so honored.
Baseball Challenge League
Ramírez spent the 2014 season as a player-coach with the Gunma Diamond Pegasus of Japan's Baseball Challenge League. In 45 games, he hit .305 with 7 home runs and 38 RBI. He retired after the 2014 season and signed on as the Diamond Pegasus' Senior Director.
In the middle of the 2015 Ramírez joined the Orix Buffaloes as an advisor, mentoring younger players. In October 2015 he was named as the BayStars manager for the 2016 season, replacing Kiyoshi Nakahata who resigned at the end of the 2015 season due to the team's poor performance.
|Nippon Professional Baseball|
Statistics current as of 21 November 2014
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.
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."
- "BayStars name Ramirez as new manager". 19 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Minor League Player of the Year by Team". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Cabrera, Laffey Receive '07 Honors". Scout.com. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Alexander Ramírez elegido el Jugador Más Valioso". El Nacional. Associated Press. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
- Lefton, Brad (July 7, 2012). "Where No Westerner in Japan Has Gone". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
- 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.
- Hongo, Jun. "Longtime Baseball Star Alex Ramirez Retires From the Diamond," Wall Street Journal blog (Oct. 15, 2014).
- Gen. "Alex Ramirez named Gunma Diamond Pegasus Senior Director," Yakyubaka.com (Oct. 29, 2014).
- "Ramirez happy to be back in NPB". 28 June 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- Lider en Deportes. "Álex Ramírez inauguró restaurante en Japón". Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- "Life's Crossroads".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alex Ramírez.|
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Nippon Professional Baseball career statistics from Japanesebaseball.com
- Venezuelan Professional Baseball League statistics
- Alex Ramirez Web Site
- Yokohama star Ramírez keeps family close to his heart
- Alex Ramirez "Ramichan Cafe"
|Awards and achievements|
|Indians' Minor League Player of the Year
(the Lou Boudreau Award)