César Cedeño

César Cedeño Encarnación (born February 25, 1951) is a former professional baseball center fielder. He played seventeen seasons in Major League Baseball from 1970 to 1986 for the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a 17-year career, Cedeño was a .285 hitter with 199 home runs and 976 RBI in 2006 games. His 550 stolen bases rank him 27th on the all-time list, and the 487 steals he accumulated with the Astros ranks him first on the franchise's all-time leader list ahead of superstar Craig Biggio.[1]

César Cedeño
Cesar Cedeno - Houston Astros
Center fielder
Born: February 25, 1951 (age 68)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 20, 1970, for the Houston Astros
Last MLB appearance
June 2, 1986, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.285
Home runs199
Runs batted in976
Stolen bases550
Career highlights and awards

Baseball career

Houston Astros

Signed by Houston as an amateur free agent in 1967, Cedeño debuted on June 20, 1970 at 19 years of age. His .310 batting average in his rookie season in 1970, allowed him to finish 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting. The very next year, he led the Major Leagues in doubles.[2] The following season, his third, he again led in doubles, not just his league, but in the majors. He batted .320 in both 1972 and 1973. In 1972, Cedeño hit 22 home runs, had 55 stolen bases, and again led the league in doubles. He won a Gold Glove Award that season as well. Houston manager Leo Durocher once compared Cedeño to Willie Mays, saying "At 22 Cedeño is as good or better than Willie was at the same age,".[2]

César Cedeño 1973.jpeg
Cedeño, circa 1973

Possessing a rare combination of power, blazing speed, and good defense, he became the second man in Major League history (after Lou Brock in 1967) to hit 20 home runs and steal 50 bases in one season. Cedeño accomplished the feat three years in a row (1972–1974). He also stole 50-plus bases the next three years (1975–1977), twice led the league in doubles (1971–1972) and collected 102 RBI in the 1974 season. He would finish in the top ten of stolen base leaders from 1971-1978 and again in 1980. His 550 stolen bases rank 27th all time as of January 2018.[1]

On the negative side, Cedeño's career was hampered by an aggressive fielding style which often led to injuries.

A winner of five consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1972–1976), Cedeño appeared in four All-Star Games (1972–1974; 1976), and was a contender for the National League MVP in 1972. In the All-Star Game of that year, Cedeño beat out Roberto Clemente for the starting National League position. Cedeño also hit for the cycle in both 1972 and 1976.[3][4]

On September 9, 1981, while playing at Atlanta Stadium, Cedeño entered the stands to confront a heckler.[5] No punches were thrown and no charges were filed, but Cedeño was ejected from the game and immediately suspended as a result.[5] On September 11, Cedeño was fined $5000 by National League President Chub Feeney but received no further suspension, as Cedeño apologized to the fan on the phone and in writing which Feeny cited as "mitigating circumstances".[5]

Cincinnati Reds

On December 18, 1981, Cedeño was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Ray Knight [6]

By 1985, Cedeño was one of the Reds' five active members of the 2000-hit club, along with Pete Rose, Tony Pérez, Dave Concepción and Buddy Bell.

St Louis Cardinals

On August 29, 1985, he was traded for an outfielder named Mark Jackson to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he hit .434 with six home runs in 28 games, and arguably provided the necessary power for his new team to outpace the New York Mets to reach the playoffs. With only one month left in the season, Cedeño had the Cardinals' longest hitting streak during their 1985 season.[7] He then played at first base to replace the injured Jack Clark in the final regular season games, and played in the outfield in the playoffs to help replace the injured Vince Coleman. Cedeno was granted free agency on November 12, 1986

Los Angeles Dodgers

Cedeño finished his career with the Dodgers and played his final game on June 2, 1986.

Estrellas Orientales

In between, Cedeño played six seasons for the Estrellas Orientales club of the Dominican Winter League, and reinforced the Tigres del Licey in the 1972 Caribbean Series. He later played with the Gold Coast Suns of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in its 1989 inaugural season.

Career Statistics

In 17 seasons, Cedeño was in 2006 games played, compiling a .285 batting average (2087-7310), with 436 doubles, 60 triples, 199 home runs, 976 RBI, 550 stolen bases, 664 walks, a .347 on-base percentage and .443 slugging percentage. In 17 post-season games, he hit only .173 (9-52). He played first base and all three outfield positions and recorded a .985 fielding percentage.

Coaching Career

After retiring, Cedeño has been both a fielding and hitting coach in the Dominican and Venezuelan winter leagues. He also served as a coach for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League farm team of the Washington Nationals before being let go in 2009. After that, he served as a hitting coach for the Greenville Astros of the Appalachian League.[8]

Personal life

On December 11, 1973, Cedeño was involved in an incident in the Dominican Republic in which a gun discharged in a motel room, killing a 19-year-old woman who was in the room with him. Authorities said Cedeño and the woman were drinking and playing with a gun when the gun fired, killing the 19-year-old. [9] He was initially charged with voluntary manslaughter[10] and held in prison without bail, while his lawyers negotiated for a reduction of the charge to involuntary manslaughter.[11] He was held for 20 days before he was released on bail.[12] He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and fined $100.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Cesar Cedeno Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Schoenfield, David (August 8, 2012). "The cautionary tale of Cesar Cedeno". ESPN.
  3. ^ "Houston Astros 10, Cincinnati Reds 1". Retrosheet. August 2, 1972.
  4. ^ "Houston Astros 13, St. Louis Cardinals 4". Retrosheet. August 9, 1976.
  5. ^ a b c Taylor, Gary (August 8, 2012). "Houston Astros first baseman Cesar Cedeno was fined $5000". UPI.
  6. ^ "Ray Knight Trades and Transactions by Baseball Almanac". Baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  7. ^ Jim Tommey and Kip Ingle, ed. (1987). St. Louis Cardinals 1987 Media Guide. St. Louis National Baseball Club. p. 153.
  8. ^ "César Cedeño - Hitting Coach". MiLB.com. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  9. ^ "The cautionary tale of Cesar Cedeno - SweetSpot". ESPN. 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  10. ^ "The Evening Independent - Google News Archive Search".
  11. ^ "Lodi News-Sentinel - Google News Archive Search".
  12. ^ "Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search".
  13. ^ "Astros' Cedeno found guilty of involuntary manslaughter".

Further reading

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Bob Watson
George Foster
National League Player of the Month
June 1972
September 1977
Succeeded by
Billy Williams
Rick Monday
Preceded by
Dave Kingman
Lyman Bostock
Hitting for the cycle
August 2, 1972
August 9, 1976
Succeeded by
Bobby Murcer
Mike Hegan
1968 Houston Astros season

The 1968 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Astros finishing in tenth place in the National League, with a record of 72–90, 25 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Astros also hosted the 1968 MLB All-Star Game at the Astrodome, with the NL defeating the AL, 1–0.

1970 Caribbean Series

After nine years of absence, the thirteenth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was revived in 1970 without the representing baseball clubs of Cuba and Panama. It was held in Caracas, Venezuela from February 5 to February 10 at Estadio Universitario, featuring the original members of the first stage. Puerto Rico was represented by the Leones de Ponce, while the host Navegantes del Magallanes represented Venezuela. The Dominican Republic debuted in the Series and was represented by the Tigres del Licey to complete a three-team tournament. The format consisted of 12 games, with each team facing the other competitors three times. Because the series was so small, each team had to face each other in one night.

1971 Houston Astros season

The 1971 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished tied for fourth in the National League West with a record of 79–83, 11 games behind the San Francisco Giants.

The Astros played 75 games that were decided by a one run margin, which is an all-time MLB record. In those games, the team had a record of 32–43.

1972 Caribbean Series

The fifteenth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1972. It was held from February 1 through February 6 with the champions teams from Dominican Republic (Aguilas Cibaeñas), Mexico (Algodoneros de Guasave), Puerto Rico (Leones de Ponce) and Venezuela (Tigres de Aragua). The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, D.R., which boosted capacity to 14.000 seats, and the first pitch was thrown by Joaquín Balaguer, by then the President of Dominican Republic.

1973 Houston Astros season

The 1973 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League West with a record of 82–80, 17 games behind the Cincinnati Reds.

1974 Houston Astros season

The 1974 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League West with a record of 81–81, 21 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1975 Houston Astros season

The 1975 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished last in the National League West with a record of 64–97, 43​1⁄2 games behind the Cincinnati Reds. The Astros' .398 winning percentage is, as of 2010, the worst in franchise history. Houston also lost 97 games in 1965 and 1991.

1976 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros 1976 season was a season in American baseball. The team finished third in the National League West with a record of 80–82, 22 games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds.

1977 Houston Astros season

The 1977 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished third in the National League West with a record of 81–81, 17 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1978 Houston Astros season

The 1978 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fifth in the National League West with a record of 74-88, 21 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1982 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1982 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds finishing in sixth place in the National League West, with a record of 61-101, 28 games behind of the Atlanta Braves. The Reds played their home games at Riverfront Stadium. John McNamara managed the club to a 34-58 start before being replaced in late-July by Russ Nixon, who compiled a 27-43 record the rest of the year. 1982 was the first time that the Reds finished in last place since 1937, as well as their first losing season since 1971, the team's first full season at Riverfront. It was also the 1st and as of 2018, the only 100 loss season in franchise history.

1983 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1983 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West. It was Johnny Bench's last season as a Red.

1985 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1985 season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West. The Reds finished in second place, 5½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. This year, the Reds adopted an alternate uniform. Reds pitcher Tom Browning became the last 20th Century pitcher to win 20 games in his rookie year.

1985 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals' 1985 season was the team's 104th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 94th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 101-61 during the season and finished in first place in the National League East division by three games over the New York Mets. After defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the NLCS, they lost in seven games in the World Series to their cross-state rivals, the Kansas City Royals in the I-70 Series. The World Series is known for the infamous "safe" call on the Royals' Jorge Orta by umpire Don Denkinger.

The Cardinals switched back to their traditional gray road uniforms for the first time in ten seasons.

Outfielder Willie McGee won the National League MVP Award this year, batting .353 with 10 home runs and 82 RBIs. Outfielder Vince Coleman won the National League Rookie of the Year Award this year, batting .267 with 107 runs scored and 110 stolen bases. Shortstop Ozzie Smith and McGee both won Gold Gloves this year.

During the 1985 playoffs, the Cardinals used the slogan The Heat Is On, in reference to the song that was released earlier that year.

1986 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1986 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season in fifth place in the Western Division of the National League.

Houston Astros award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Houston Astros professional baseball team.

Jay Schlueter

Jay D Schlueter (July 31, 1949 – May 13, 2010) was an outfielder who played in Major League Baseball during the 1971 season. Listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m), 182 lb., he batted and threw right-handed.Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Schlueter was a second round selection in the 1967 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros. He spent part of five seasons in the minor leagues before joining the big club in the 1971 midseason. Unfortunately, he formed part of a very congested Astros outfield that included César Cedeño, César Gerónimo, Jimmy Wynn and Bob Watson, among others. Schlueter went 1-for-3 and scored one run in seven games, but never returned to the majors. After that, he went to the minors for four more seasons. In a nine-year minors career, he posted a .209 average with 48 home runs and 128 runs batted in in 863 games.Following his playing career, Schlueter became a dedicated coach and supporter of all youth and high school sports in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Chaparral, New Mexico. He later worked as a commercial real estate broker.Schlueter died in his homeland of Scottdale at the age of 60.

Tony Pacheco

Antonio Aristides Pacheco (August 9, 1927 – March 23, 1987) was a Cuban-born coach and scout in Major League Baseball. A longtime minor league infielder and manager, Pacheco coached in MLB for six seasons (1974; 1976–79; 1982) for the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros.Born in Punta Brava (now Havana), Pacheco got his start in American professional baseball in 1949 with the Class D Newport Canners of the Appalachian League, but by 1951 he was a regular second baseman for the Havana Cubanos of the Class B Florida International League, one of the most successful minor league clubs of its day (and provider of a stream of Cuban talent to its parent team, the Washington Senators). Pacheco's playing career would take him back to the United States' mainland after 1953, but he would return to Cuba's capital twice to play (1954), then manage (1958) for the Triple-A Havana Sugar Kings of the International League. As a player, Pacheco batted .236 with 14 home runs in 2,825 at bats over eight seasons. He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 ft (1.8 m) tall and weighed 185 lb (84 kg).Pacheco managed in the Cincinnati Reds' farm system in 1958–59 (the Sugar Kings were a Reds' affiliate at that time), scouted for the Reds, then in 1961 became a scout for the expansion Houston Colt .45s (renamed the Astros after 1964). In 1966–73, he resumed his minor league managing career, reaching Triple-A Oklahoma City of the American Association in 1972. He also managed in winter baseball and served as a part-time Houston scout; in October 1967, Pacheco and scouting director Pat Gillick signed César Cedeño to his first professional contract.In 1973, former Cincinnati farm system director Phil Seghi, now general manager of the Indians, hired Pacheco as manager of the Tribe's Double-A San Antonio Missions farm club, then brought him to Cleveland as a coach on Ken Aspromonte's staff in 1974. Pacheco was not retained when Frank Robinson replaced Aspromonte for 1975 but instead managed the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Indians that season.

But in 1976, Pacheco was appointed a coach with the Astros by their new manager, Bill Virdon, and he would serve through 1979 as the team's first-base coach. He also coached for Houston in 1982 and scouted for them during the early 1980s.

Pacheco died at age 59 in Miami Beach, Florida.

Wilbur Howard

Wilbur Leon Howard (born January 8, 1949) is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. During a 6-year baseball career, he played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1973) and the Houston Astros (1974–1978).

Howard was selected in the 19th round of the 1969 Major League Baseball Draft by the Seattle Pilots (now known as the Milwaukee Brewers), who would move to Milwaukee and become the Brewers after the season. Howard played in the Brewers organization for the next four seasons, getting a September call-up in 1973, when he batted .205 in 39 at bats. The following spring, he was traded to the Houston Astros in exchange for the star-crossed Larry Yount and another minor leaguer.

Howard started the 1974 season in the minor leagues, but was called up in mid-June, spending the rest of the season as the Astros' fourth outfielder. In 1975, he remained in that role, although the Astros rotated their other outfielders (Greg Gross, César Cedeño, and José Cruz) out of the lineup often enough that Howard played in 121 games, batting .283 with 32 stolen bases, which was eighth in the league and second on the team to Cedeño's 50.

In 1976, however, manager Bill Virdon moved Howard back into a more traditional fourth outfielder role, and he continued to serve in that capacity for three seasons. After spending 1979 in the minor leagues with the Charleston Charlies, Howard called it quits.


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