10 Baseball Players Who Never Played In The MLB And Were Still Incredible

10 Baseball Players Who Never Played In The MLB And Were Still Incredible

10 Baseball Players Who Never Played In The MLB And Were Still Incredible. For years, African Americans were not allowed to play in Major League Baseball. And since there was a strict embargo placed on Cuba, claiming the country as an enemy, it has been impossible for Cubans to come to the United States and play professional baseball. The MLB consisted of mostly white players for many decades.

Credit: Yardbarker

The following 10 men played in Japan, but never signed with an MLB team. Although each man had different backgrounds or motivations for why they decided not to sign with the organization, all of them were amazing at playing the game of baseball.

Omar Linares. Omar Linares was one of the best players in Cuba, ranking second in career average (.368), OBP (.487), slugging percentage (.644) and runs scored (1,547). He helped the Cuban National Team win gold medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics Games, as well as a silver at the 2000 Olympics.

Héctor Espino, had a great career in Mexico. Despite this, he was drafted by the Cardinals, Mets, Padres and Angels for a reason. He is better known for his nickname “The Rebel of Chihuahua.” After breaking onto the scene with Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in 1962, he ended up slugging 484 career home runs. Espino’s records (single-season HRs, hits, doubles, RBI, runs scored) have since been broken but Babe Ruth also did this.

José Méndez was not inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame until 2006, even though he retired 80 years prior. Nicknamed “The Black Diamond,” José pitched with a skill best seen in the biggest games against stiff competition. In three games against the visiting Cincinnati Reds in 1908, he pitched 25 consecutive shutout innings, allowing only 8 hits and 3 walks and striking out 24. Less than a week later, José pitched another two shutouts – including a no-hitter – against minor-league all-star teams.

The catcher for the Greenville Pickers was not the greatest of all time, but despite that he is still considered one of the best behind the plate. Biz Mackey ranks among some of Negro League’s top running bases and leaders in RBI and hit totals. He also has 5 All-Star nods and a career average of .322 to his name.

Masaichi Kaneda had a career that saw him win 403 games, strike out 4,490 batters and post a 2.34 ERA. Kaneda was good enough for fifteen 20-win seasons and was 12-time All Star, 2005 Cy Young recipient and three-time Best in the League

George “Mule” Suttles. In his imposing size and 50-ounce bat, you wouldn’t be much surprised to find out he was among the foremost Negro League leaders for home runs, doubles, RBI, slugging percentage and total bases. Mules also batted between .300 and .400 each season–earned him five All-Star nods during a 23-year career of Hall of Fame status.

From 1920 to 1928, left fielder Cristobal Torriente was a powerhouse player who hit for power, speed and an array of perfect-game pitches. He was called “The Black Babe Ruth,” but in reality he was only a five-tool player with power to straight fields. Cristobal Torriente batted over .300 11 times, earning him two Cuban batting titles on the way to induction into the American and Cuban Halls of Fame, as well as the Cuban league’s Hall of Fame.

Wilber “Bullet Joe” Rogan was nicknamed “Bullet” for his pitching prowess in the Negro Leagues. In addition to having a signature fastball, Rogan’s arsenal also included a curveball, spitball, palmball and forkball. With a 119-50 record (with 132 complete games) and a 3.68 ERA in his career, he led the Kansas City Monarchs to a World Series title in 1924 while going 18-5 on the mound at bat. He later won induction into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Leon Day. Monte Irvin, who he was once compared to the legendary Bob Gibson, described Day as a better fielder and hitter who could run like a deer. He also crowned Day as the best athlete he ever saw, stating that “one of the best complete athletes I’ve ever seen was Leon Day.” Complete indeed, as Leon was used almost every day in some capacity – be it as a starter, reliever, outfielder or infielder. Day finished his career with a no-hitter and led his team to World Series victory in 1946.

William Johnson was a three-time All-Star and won one Negro World Series. He’s one of the smartest guys who ever played the game and had a career average of .298 which doesn’t accurately reflect how many seasons he batted above .300, his proficiency in hitting to all fields, and his prowess at both bunting and slugging.

Follow Us