Jim Rivera

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Jim Rivera
Born: (1921 -07-22) July 22, 1921 (age 95)
New York City
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 15, 1952, for the St. Louis Browns
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1961, for the Kansas City Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average .256
Home runs 83
Runs batted in 422
Career highlights and awards

Manuel Joseph "Jim" Rivera (born July 22, 1921) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder. He played for three teams over ten seasons: St. Louis Browns (1952), Chicago White Sox (1952–1961) and Kansas City Athletics (1961).


Rivera was born to Puerto Rican immigrants in New York City. He was first called "Jim" when he was 17, "Big Jim" when he started playing for the Chicago White Sox during the 1952 season, and then "Jungle Jim" in 1953 which was initiated by a Chicago Sun-Times sports writer. This was due largely to his unorthodox playing style, and for his highly extroverted personality. Rivera threw and batted left-handed; he stood 6 feet tall and weighed 196 pounds during his playing days.

In 1953, he led the American League in triples (16) and in 1955 in stolen bases with 25. He was a sparkplug for the 1950s Go-Go White Sox team which eventually won the American League pennant in 1959.

A smart and fast runner, Rivera ran the bases with abandon, sliding into bases on his belly before it was fashionable, and made many a game-saving catch playing right field. A ground ball hitter, he used his speed to full advantage and was a much tougher in clutch situations. However, in that year's World Series, which the White Sox lost in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rivera went hitless in 11 at-bats.

Rivera had a .256 lifetime batting average with 83 home runs, 422 RBIs, 503 runs, 155 doubles, and 56 triples in 1171 games played. He also had a career total of 160 stolen bases and a lifetime .978 fielding average.

At age 40, Rivera appeared in 64 games for the Kansas City A's during the 1961 season, hitting .241 to cap his career.

Rivera said Whitey Ford was the "toughest" pitcher he ever faced and he liked it when he was called "Big Jim."

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