Ramirez celebrating his 2000 career hits in 2013
3 October 1974 |
|MLB: 19 September, 1998 for the Cleveland Indians|
|NPB: March 30, 2001 for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows|
|Last professional appearance|
|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|
|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. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians (1998–2000) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2000). He batted and threw right-handed.
Professional Baseball Career
Major League Baseball career
Nippon Professional Baseball career
After the 2000 season, Ramírez signed with the Yakult Swallows (2001–2007) and was their cleanup hitter. He did hold the Central League (Japan) record for most base hits in a single season (204) set in 2007, but Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton would surpass this with 214 hits in 2010. Due to contract issues (Ramírez wanted a multi-year contract, but the Swallows offered a one-year contract), he decided to sign with the Yomiuri Giants before the 2008 season.
In 2008, Ramírez 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 to become the third Venezuelan player to be honored with the title 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 he is also not bound to the restriction of the number of non-Japanese players on each team. Which only very few non-Japanese player have such right. 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 July 5, 2012, Ramirez recorded his 2,000 career hit (with 1,914 in Japan and 86 in MLB), which was commonly recognized as reaching the qualification for a possible invitation to Meikyukai, a private club which recognizes Japan’s elite players and no Western players by then was invited. Though, he was ineligible invited as the Meikyukai stated records before a player started his NPB career could not be counted (meaning his 86 MLB hits don't count). On April 6, 2013, Ramirez hit a home run to record his 2,000 career hit in NPB, and became the 42nd player and the first foreign player to accomplish the feat, and joined Meikyukai.
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.
|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."
- "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.
- Associated Press (22 November 2008). "Alexander Ramírez elegido el Jugador Más Valioso". El Nacional. 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).
- 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)