December 1, 1929 |
Santurce, Puerto Rico
|April 17, 1954, for the Cincinnati Redlegs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 25, 1954, for the Cincinnati Redlegs|
|Runs batted in||3|
In 1946 at the Amateur Baseball World Series held in the Latin American Republic of Colombia Escalera was named best first baseman and most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament.
In 1950, the New York Yankees organization obtained Escalera from the Bristol Owls of the Colonial League. In 1952, he was purchased by the Toledo Mud Hens/Charleston Senators of the American Association, and later that year, by the Cincinnati Redlegs organization.
On April 17, 1954 at Milwaukee County Stadium, a 24-year-old Escalera, standing at 5'10 and weighing 165 pounds, became the first black to play for the Cincinnati Redlegs. He entered the game as a pinch hitter, and hit a single in a 5–1 loss to the Milwaukee Braves.
Was selected and played in the 1958 International League All star game.
He played in 73 games during his only big league season, often as a pinch hitter. Season and career totals include a .159 batting average (11-for-69), 3 runs batted in, 15 runs scored, and an on-base percentage of .234. He committed just one error in 49 total chances at OF/1B for a fielding percentage of .980. On the 22nd of May, Escalara became the last left-handed player to field at shortstop in a National League game.
Escalera worked as a scout for the New York Mets organization from 1966 to 1981. In 1982, he served as a scout for the San Francisco Giants organization. Among players signed by Escalera are retired major league players Jerry Morales, Ed Figueroa, Benny Ayala, José Oquendo and Juan Berenguer.
Escalera is a member of the Puerto Rico Baseball Hall of Fame, Río Piedras Sport Hall of Fame, Puerto Rico Sport Hall of Fame and Santurce Sport Hall of Fame. He is considered alongside Victor Pellot and Orlando Cepeda among the best first basemen in Puerto Rico history. In 2015 he was also named as one of the best 75 five baseball players ever played in Puerto Rico winter league history.
Baseball family tradition
Escalera is the pioneer of a multigenerational tradition of Major League Baseball players, scouts and baseball managers. Escalera's nephew Ruben Escalera, played for the Milwaukee Brewers minor league organization, later became a professional baseball scout and currently is a professional baseball manager. Another nephew, Alfredo Escalera, was drafted by the Kansas City Royals as the youngest player ever to be drafted by any organization.
Minor League experience
- 1949 Colonial League (B) Bristol Owls
- 1950 Canadian–American League (C) Amsterdam Rugmakers NYA
- 1950 Colonial League (B) Bristol Owls/
- 1951 Central League (A) Muskegon Reds NYA
- 1951 International League (AAA) Syracuse Chiefs
- 1952 American Association (AAA) Toledo Mud Hens/Charleston Senators
- 1953 American Association (AAA) Indianapolis Indians CLE
- 1953 Texas League (AA) Tulsa Oilers CIN
- 1954 National League (MLB) Cincinnati Redlegs CIN
- 1955 International League (AAA) Havana Sugar Kings CIN
- 1956 International League (AAA) Havana Sugar Kings CIN
- 1957 International League (AAA) Havana Sugar Kings CIN
- 1958 International League (AAA) Havana Sugar Kings CIN
- 1959 International League (AAA) Columbus Jets PIT
- 1960 International League (AAA) Columbus Jets PIT
- 1961 International League (AAA) Columbus Jets PIT
- 1962 International League (AAA) Rochester Red Wings BAL
- Preston, JG. "The forgotten left-handed throwing shortstop". prestonjg.wordpress.com. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- Reference, Baseball. "Ruben Escalera Baseball Career". BaseballReference.com. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Ortiz, Peter (8 June 2012). "Boricua el prospecto más joven: "Un sueño hecho realidad"". Noticel News. Retrieved 19 August 2012.