Luis Olmo

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Luis Olmo
Utility player
Born: Luis Francisco Rodríguez Olmo
(1919-08-11)August 11, 1919
Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Died: April 28, 2017(2017-04-28) (aged 97)
Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 18, 1943, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
June 6, 1951, for the Boston Braves
MLB statistics
Batting average .289
Home runs 29
Runs batted in 272
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Luis Olmo (August 11, 1919 – April 28, 2017) was a major league baseball outfielder and right-handed batter. Olmo played in the majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1943–45, 1949) and Boston Braves (1950–51).

Early years[edit]

Olmo (birth name: Luis Francisco Rodríguez Olmo [note 1]) was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He began his professional career in 1938 with the Criollos de Caguas of the Puerto Rican Winter League. In 1939, Olmo signed with the Richmond Colts of the Piedmont League and was assigned to the Tarboro Goobers and later the Wilson Tobs of the Coastal Plain League. The Dodgers acquired Olmo from Richmond in 1942 and assigned him to the Montreal Royals after spring training.[1][2][3]

Major League career[edit]

Brooklyn called Olmo up to the major leagues in July 1943 and he debuted with the Dodgers on July 18, 1943. In 57 games, he batted .303 with four home runs and 37 RBI. He gained regular status in the next season, batting .258 with nine home runs and 85 RBI in 136 games.[1][2][3]

On May 18, 1945, Olmo became the second player (Del Bissonette on April 21, 1930 was the first) in Major League history to hit a bases-loaded triple and a bases-loaded home run (grand slam) in the same game. He added a single for good measure, only failing to hit a double to complete the cycle. In that season, he led the league in triples (13) and reached career-high numbers in batting average (.313), home runs (10), RBI (110), doubles (27), stolen bases (15) and games (141).[1][2][3]

Mexican League[edit]

In 1946, Olmo was among a group of players enticed to play in the Mexican League with the promise of higher salaries; they were suspended by Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler for jumping the major leagues. Two years later, Olmo was reinstated and he returned to the Dodgers, batting .305 in 1949 to help win the pennant.[1][2][3]

1949 World Series[edit]

In the 1949 World Series against the Yankees, Olmo became the first Puerto Rican to play in a World Series, as well as hit a home run and get three hits in a Series game. After two seasons, he was dealt to the Braves. He retired at the end of the 1951 season.[1][2][3]

In a six-year career, Olmo batted .281 (458-for-1629) with 29 home runs, 208 runs, 65 doubles, 25 triples, and 33 stolen bases in 462 games.[2][3]

Caribbean Series[edit]

Olmo earned Caribbean Series MVP honors, during the 1951 edition played in Caracas, after batting .416 and three homers, while powering the Cangrejeros de Santurce to the championship.[1][2]

Olmo returned to the Series with Santurce in its 1955 title, and also played as a reinforcement for fourth-place Senadores de San Juan in 1952.[1] Overall, Olmo posted a .303 average with three home runs and 13 RBI in three Caribbean Series.[1][2]

Later years[edit]

Olmo was elected to the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame on February 6, 2004. His baseball career was featured in a 2008 American documentary titled "Beisbol", directed by Alan Swyer and narrated by Esai Morales, which covered the early influences and contributions of Hispanics in the game. The City of Arecibo honored Olmo by naming a stadium after him.[1]

Olmo had been suffering from Alzheimer's for more than a year. Olmo, who suffered from the complications of double pneumonia, died on April 28, 2017 in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico.[4][1][2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Rodriguez and the second or maternal family name is Olmo.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]