February 18, 1927|
Peñuelas, Puerto Rico
|Died: January 13, 2016
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|April 20, 1955, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 28, 1963, for the New York Yankees|
|Earned run average||3.93|
|Career highlights and awards|
Luis Enrique "Tite" Arroyo, (February 18, 1927 – January 13, 2016), was a major league baseball pitcher from 1955 to 1963. Arroyo was the first Puerto Rican born baseball player to play for the New York Yankees and was a key part of their pennant winning seasons in 1961 and 1962.
Arroyo, from Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, made his Major League Baseball debut on April 20, 1955. A stocky left-hander, he spent one season primarily as a starter with the St. Louis Cardinals. Though he was a member of the National League All-Star team that year, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates the next spring, where he was moved to the bullpen. Struggling to establish himself in the role, he went from the Pirates to the Cincinnati Redlegs, then the New York Yankees. Arroyo was the first to play for the Yankees, and despite his earlier struggles, he quickly became an important contributor to the club.
American League hitters had little success against Arroyo's screwball, and after a solid contribution at the back of their bullpen in 1960, he enjoyed the best season of his career in 1961. That year, Arroyo pitched 119 innings with a 2.19 ERA, while winning 15 games as the team's relief ace. His totals of 65 games pitched and 29 saves both led the league, he surrendered only five home runs in a season where league-wide offensive totals were very high by historical standards, and was named to his second All-Star team while finishing sixth in AL MVP voting.
Arroyo's glory was, however, short-lived. He injured his arm the following spring; while he pitched for two more seasons, he never regained his prior effectiveness. Arroyo retired after appearing in only six innings in the 1963 season. Over the course of his MLB career, he pitched 531 1⁄3 innings with a 3.93 ERA, collecting 40 wins, 32 losses, and 44 saves.
Legacy and death
In an article in 1976 in Esquire magazine, sportswriter Harry Stein published an "All Time All-Star Argument Starter", consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Arroyo, a Puerto Rican, was the relief pitcher on Stein's Latin team.
On July 16, 2010, Arroyo was hospitalized after suffering a "mild heart attack"; he fell ill at an event leading up to the Yankees' July 17 Old-Timers' Day celebration, an annual event where Arroyo was a popular figure.
- Staff Writer (January 17, 2016) "Star reliever during Yankees magical 1961 season", The Washington Post, page C7.
- "Beisbol Latino Baseball Las Grandes Ligas #beisbol - 1-800-BEISBOL". Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero; by David Maraniss; page 316; Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group; ISBN 978-0-7432-9999-2.
- "Former Yank Arroyo suffers 'mild heart attack'". July 17, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- "El Nuevo Día". Retrieved June 8, 2016.