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February 24, 1966 |
|April 9, 1993, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 6, 1997, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Earned run average||4.11|
|Baseball World Cup|
René Arocha studied at the Regla high school in Havana. After graduating high school, Arocha became a member of Cuba's famed national baseball team.
In 1991, during an international competition, Arocha defected, opting for a life in the United States and the chance at playing in the Major Leagues. His story became known across the States when Hispanic media began talking about him, and Arocha was the subject of many television reports on Telemundo and Univision.
In 1991, Arocha was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, and assigned to the Cardinals' farm team in Louisville, Kentucky. As a pitcher in Louisville in 1992, Arocha posted 12 wins and 7 losses with an earned run average of 2.70. These numbers prompted the Cardinals to bring Arocha to the Major Leagues, and he debuted with the Cardinals in 1993, winning 11 games and losing 8, while striking out 96 opponents and accumulating an ERA of 3.78.
The 1994 and 1995 seasons were marred for Arocha by injuries, and he only won 7 games in those two years combined, while also losing 7. After missing the entire 1996 season with injuries, he was dealt as a player to be named later to the San Francisco Giants in a deal to acquire catcher Tom Lampkin.
Arocha spent much of 1997 with the Giants' Pacific Coast League affiliate, the Phoenix Firebirds. He won 7 games while losing only 3. Arocha returned to the majors with the Giants, pitching ten innings and posting an 11.32 ERA before earning his release on August 6, 1997. The New York Yankees signed him one week later, where he completed the season as a member of their Triple-A affiliate in Columbus.
- "With Justice Department's help, Arocha may play in U.S.". The Boca Raton News. Associated Press. 1991-09-11. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- "Rene Arocha". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- "Rene Arocha (Minors)". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Retrosheet, or Baseball-Reference (Minor and Mexican leagues), or EcuRed (biography), or Cuban Baseball Career statistics, or Pura Pelota (Venezuelan Winter League)
- Arocha paving the way for other Cuban defectors. NYTimes, March 21, 2016