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Pancho Herrera

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Pancho Herrera

This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Herrera and the second or maternal family name is Willavicencio.
Pancho Herrera
First baseman
Born: (1934-06-16)June 16, 1934
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Died: April 28, 2005(2005-04-28) (aged 70)
Miami, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 15, 1958 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1961 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Batting average .271
Home runs 31
Runs batted in 128
Teams

Career highlights and awards

Juan Francisco "Pancho" Herrera Willavicencio was a professional baseball player. He played all or part of three seasons in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies between 1958 and 1961, primarily as a first baseman. He also played for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro American League, from whom he was purchased by the Phillies in 1954, as well with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League (AAA) and also in Mexico. Herrera was the first Afro-Latino to play for the Phillies.[1]

1960 was Herrera's most productive year. He homered 17 times and batted .281 for the season. He also led National League batters with 136 strikeouts, a league record at the time (it would be broken by Dick Allen four years later). Herrera also committed more errors (13) than any other first baseman in the league. Still, Herrera finished a distant second to Frank Howard in that year's Rookie of the Year balloting.[2]

Herrera's statistics slipped after 1960 and he never played again in the majors after the 1961 season. He played another eight years of minor league baseball before retiring in 1969, although he continued to play sporadically until 1974. After that he managed in both the Mexican and Florida State leagues.

The "missing 'a'" version of Herrera's 1958 Topps baseball card, where his name is spelled "Herrer" on the front, is one of the baseball card world's great rarities. An example of this card in "Near Mint 7" condition sold for $8,365.00 in an October 2009 Heritage auction.[3]

References

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)

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