November 19, 1938 |
San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
|April 11, 1962 for the Kansas City Athletics|
Last MLB appearance
|May 25, 1969 for the Chicago Cubs|
Manuel Emilio Jiménez Rivera (born November 19, 1938 in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic) is a former Major League Baseball left fielder. He played for the Kansas City Athletics (between 1962 and 1966), Pittsburgh Pirates (1967–1968) and Chicago Cubs (1969).
Jiménez was regarded as an outstanding minor league hitter. In his first full professional season in 1958, he led the Northern League with a .340 batting average while playing for the Eau Claire Braves. After hitting .325 for the Pacific Coast League Vancouver Mounties in 1961, he was acquired by the Athletics in a multi-player trade.
He made his major league debut on April 11, 1962 against the Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Municipal Stadium. He was the starting left fielder, batting fifth against Minnesota ace Camilo Pascual. The Athletics were victims of a four-hit shutout, but Jiménez went 3-for-4 against the All-Star right-hander. He was well on his way to a memorable rookie season in which he hit .301 (eighth in the American League) with 11 home runs and 69 runs batted in.
In July 1962 owner Charles O. Finley met with Jiménez and told him to "stop concentrating on hitting for average and concentrate on hitting more home runs." Jimenez went into a slump and lost about 30 points off his average during the last two months of the season. Finley at first denied any interference but later admitted to reporters that he had indeed met with Jiménez after the manager and coaches had "unsuccessfully tried to do the same thing."
Despite his initial success, playing time was harder to come by in 1963 and Jiménez found himself splitting time between Triple-A and the big leagues for the remainder of the decade.
Jiménez career totals during his 429 games included a .272 batting average (273-for-1,003), 26 HR, 144 RBI, 90 runs scored, a .337 on-base percentage, and a .401 slugging percentage. In 234 game appearances as an outfielder his fielding percentage was .966, which was below the major league average of .980 during the time he played.
His brother Elvio Jiménez, is also a former major league outfielder.
- three 4-hit games, including 3 home runs and 5 runs batted in vs. the Baltimore Orioles (July 4, 1964)
- ten 3-hit games
- hit a combined .492 (32-for-65) against All-Stars Eddie Fisher, Sam Jones, Ken McBride, Camilo Pascual, and Juan Pizarro
- hit a combined .429 (24-for-56) against Hall of Famers Whitey Ford, Ferguson Jenkins, Robin Roberts, Don Sutton, and Early Wynn
- 1968 Baseball Register published by The Sporting News
- The Kansas City Athletics: A Baseball History by John E. Peterson