Manny Sanguillen

Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 72 Weight: 193
Born: Tuesday, March 21, 1944 in Colon, Colon Panama
Died: in ,
Debut: 7/23/1967
Last Game: 10/5/1980
Full Name: Manuel de Jesus Sanguillen

Manny Sanguillen, catcher for the 1967, 1969-76 and 1978-80 Pirates. The Pirates signed him as an amateur free agent in October 1964 out of Panama. He didn’t hit much his first season in the low minors but he turned it around quickly, raising his average nearly 100 points in 1966 and getting promoted to Triple-A late in the year, skipping right over Double-A. He repeated Triple-A to start 1967, hitting .258 through 71 games before getting his first chance in the majors in July. Sanguillen played 30 games for the Pirates that year, hitting .271 in 96 at-bats and he showed a strong arm behind the plate, going 8-for-14 throwing out runners. Despite those numbers, he spent the entire 1968 season in Triple-A where he hit .316 with 60 RBIs in 105 games.

In 1969 he became the everyday catcher and hit .303 with 57 RBIs in 129 games. He had a little bit of trouble behind the plate, making a league leading 17 errors, but he still threw out 44% of attempted base stealers. Sanguillen followed that up with a .325 average in 1970, helping the Pirates to the playoffs for the first time in ten seasons. He finished 11th in the NL MVP voting that year, one spot ahead of Roberto Clemente. The 1971 season would be a magical one for Sanguillen and the Pirates. He hit .319 with 81 RBIs in 138 games. He made his first All-Star appearance and finished eighth in the MVP race. The Pirates won their fourth world championship and Sanguillen had 11 hits in the World Series

The 1972 season saw him make his second All-Star appearance, thanks to his strong defense and .298 average with 71 RBIs. The Pirates again made the playoffs and he hit .313 in the NLCS. The Pirates suffered the tragedy of losing Clemente in the off-season and Sanguillen tried to take his spot in right field. It didn’t work out defensively and he was moved back behind the plate after two months. He would hit a career high 12 home runs that season, while driving in 65 runs. In 1974 he caught a career high 151 games, again helping the Pirates to the playoffs. In 1975 he made his third (and final) All-Star appearance, hitting a career high .328 that year. He played just 114 games in 1976 and he led NL catchers in errors.The Pirates traded Sanguillen on November 5, 1976 in exchange for manager Chuck Tanner. He only played one season in Oakland before the Pirates acquired him back for three players just before Opening Day in 1978.

With the return to Pittsburgh, his catching days were all but over. Sanguillen caught just 26 games over his final three seasons and spent more time at first base and in the pinch-hitting role. The Pirates won the World Series again in 1979 and he had the game-winning pinch-hit in the ninth inning of game two to tie the series up one game apiece. On December 9,1980 Sanguillen was traded to the Cleveland Indians, along with Bert Blyleven. He was released by the Indians two months later, having played 1,448 career games, 1,296 with the Pirates. He had a .299 average with Pittsburgh, scoring 524 runs and driving in 527 runners in 4,491 at-bats.