José Antonio Rijo Abreu (born May 13, 1965) is a Dominican former pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) who spent the majority of his career with the Cincinnati Reds (1988–1995 and 2001–2002). Originally signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1980, Rijo made his MLB debut with them in 1984, and also played in MLB for the Oakland Athletics. He pitched and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall, and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg) during his playing career.
The most notable success of Rijo's career came as a member of the Reds, where each year as a starting pitcher from 1988−1993, he posted an earned run average (ERA) below 3.00. He won a World Series title in 1990 and that event's Most Valuable Player Award (MVP). In 1993, he was the National League (NL) leader in strikeouts and Wins Above Replacement (WAR) at 10.6. He was named to the All-Star Game in 1994.
Elbow injuries sidelined Rijo for most of the 1995 season, and from 1996−2000, prevented him from appearing in the major leagues in spite of all his efforts. In 2001, he returned to the major leagues as a relief pitcher with the Reds. By doing so, he became the first player to appear in a game after receiving a Baseball Hall of Fame vote since Minnie Miñoso in 1976. As a result, Rijo was the Tony Conigliaro Award winner in 2002. He again retired after that season, and was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2005.
Rijo in 1984
|Born: May 13, 1965|
San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic
|April 5, 1984, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 2002, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Earned run average||3.24|
|Career highlights and awards|
Plagued by injuries during his career, he left the major leagues at age 30 before returning six years later for one and a half seasons. Rijo is perhaps best known for his performance in the 1990 World Series, when he recorded two victories in a four-game sweep over the defending champion Oakland A's, including a two-hitter in the final Game Four. Rijo's performance earned him the World Series MVP Award as the Reds won their first championship in fourteen years.
When Rijo broke into the majors with the New York Yankees in 1984, he was 18 years old and the youngest player in either league. The previous year, he'd had a 15–5 record in the Florida League with a 1.68 ERA. But he did not have a good rookie season, and some observers (notably ESPN) commented that Yankee owner George Steinbrenner had orchestrated the call-up, hoping to create a phenom along the lines of the crosstown Mets' 1984 rookie sensation Dwight Gooden. When this did not happen, Rijo was sent to the Oakland A's as part of a trade package for Rickey Henderson.
While with the Oakland Athletics, he struck out 16 Seattle Mariners on April 16, 1986, setting a club record. In his next start, he struck out 14 in a 2-hitter against the same Mariners organization, despite losing the game. But his time in Oakland was otherwise largely nondescript, with just 17 wins in three seasons. Even so, Rijo was still considered enough of a prospect for the Reds to acquire him in exchange for aging slugger Dave Parker, who'd had 338 runs batted in over the previous three seasons.
Rijo's age eventually caught up to his talent. He was a member of the National League All-Star Team in 1994. Rijo also led the league in 1993 and 1994 in games started. He led the NL in 1993 in strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings, and in 1991 he led the NL in winning percentage.
Rijo was 3–0 in the 1990 postseason, including two World Series wins against Oakland, the team that had traded him away three years before. After winning Game One by a 7–0 score, he shut down the A's on two hits in Game Four (both in the first inning), ending the Series with a 0.59 earned run average and 15 strikeouts in 15 1⁄3 innings. It was the only postseason experience of his entire career.
Rijo pitched a one-hitter against the Colorado Rockies in 1993. The year after his All-Star season (1995), Rijo was sidelined with a serious elbow injury. Despite several comeback attempts, his elbow troubles kept him out of baseball for five full years. Rijo made an unexpected comeback to the game in 2001, returning to Cincinnati as a reliever. In doing so, Rijo became the first major league player to appear in a game after having received a Baseball Hall of Fame vote since Minnie Miñoso (who received six Hall of Fame votes in 1969) appeared for the Chicago White Sox in 1976 and 1980. In 2008, Rijo was again on the Hall of Fame ballot; he received no votes.
In 2002, his final season, Rijo received the Tony Conigliaro Award. He made a handful of starts that year, including a win in his first start since 1995, and the last game at Riverfront Stadium. Rijo was on the 2003 Reds roster, but he suffered an elbow injury causing him to miss the entire season, and retired soon thereafter.
Rijo used to work as a special assistant to general manager Jim Bowden of the Washington Nationals baseball team. Starting in February 2009, he took a leave of absence from his position after it was discovered that one of Rijo's scouting finds, Dominican shortstop Esmailyn Gonzalez was actually named Carlos David Alvarez Lugo and was four years older than the Nationals believed when they signed him. On February 25, Rijo was dismissed from the Nationals' organization and his Dominican baseball academy closed down.
In December 2011, German Miranda, who heads the Dominican Republic's Anti-Money Laundering unit, said Rijo had been subpoenaed in relation to his business dealings with Matías "Daniel" Avelino Castro and any information he might have about the abduction and murder of journalist José Silvestre, a.k.a. "Gajo", of Caña TV. Rijo was questioned by police after twice avoiding them. According to Miranda, an arrest warrant for Rijo had already been issued.
Rijo became eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001. 75% of the vote was necessary for induction, and 5% was necessary to stay on the ballot. He received 0.2% of the vote, and was dropped off the BBWAA ballot. He again became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2008 since he played in 2001 after a six-year hiatus. He received zero votes and fell off the ballot.
In 2012, reporters in the Dominican Republic stated that Rijo was under investigation for suspicion of money laundering for drug traffickers. No concrete evidence was ever found and the case was dropped.
The twenty-seventh edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) of baseball was played in 1985. It was held from February 2 through February 7 with the champion teams from Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey), Mexico (Tomateros de Culiacán), Puerto Rico (Metropolitanos de San Juan) and Venezuela (Tiburones de la Guaira). The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio Teodoro Mariscal in Mazatlán, Mexico.1985 Oakland Athletics season
The Oakland Athletics' 1985 season involved the A's finishing 4th in the American League West with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. While the Athletics' on-field performance continued to disappoint, the debut of slugger Jose Canseco gave fans a measure of hope.1986 Oakland Athletics season
The Oakland Athletics' 1986 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the A's finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses.1990 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds' 1990 season was the Reds' 122nd season in American baseball. Starting with a club best nine straight wins to open the season, as well as holding the top spot in the National League West every game during the season, the Reds went 41-21 after 62 games, splitting the remaining 100 games 50-50 to end up with a 91-71 record. It consisted of the 91-71 Reds winning the National League West by five games over the second-place Dodgers, as well as the National League Championship Series in six games over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the World Series in a four-game sweep over the overwhelming favorite Oakland Athletics, who had won the World Series the previous year. It was the fifth World Championship for the Reds, and their first since winning two consecutive titles in 1975 and '76.1990 Major League Baseball season
The 1990 Major League Baseball season saw the Cincinnati Reds upset the heavily favored Oakland Athletics in the World Series, for their first title since 1976.1990 World Series
The 1990 World Series was the 87th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series and the conclusion of the 1990 Major League Baseball season. The Series featured the defending champions and heavily favored American League (AL) champion Oakland Athletics against the National League (NL) champion Cincinnati Reds. The Reds defeated the Athletics in a four-game sweep. It was the fifth 4-game sweep by the National League and second by the Reds after they did it in 1976, as well as the second consecutive World Series to end in a sweep, after the A's themselves did it to the San Francisco Giants in 1989. It is remembered for Billy Hatcher's seven consecutive hits. The sweep extended the Reds' World Series winning streak to nine games, dating back to 1975. This also was the second World Series meeting between the two clubs (Oakland won four games to three in 1972). As of 2018, this remains both teams' most recent appearance in the World Series.
Athletics manager Tony La Russa and Reds manager Lou Piniella were old friends and teammates from their Tampa American Legion Post 248 team.1993 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1993 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West.1995 Caribbean Series
The thirty-seventh edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was held from February 3 through February 8 of 1995 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The series featured four teams from Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. The hometown team, the Senadores de San Juan of the Puerto Rican League won the series. The team was managed by Luis Meléndez. The Most Valuable Player was Roberto Alomar, a second baseman with the Senadores de San Juan.
While the San Juan club had faced difficulty in emerging as the champions of the Puerto Rican Winter League, the team swept its way through the six-game Series by a 49-15 score. The Azucareros del Este of the Dominican League lost one game 16-0 by Puerto Rico. However they won all of their games against the other teams thanks to the arms of José Rijo, Pedro Martínez and Pedro Astacio to place second with a 4-2 record.
Puerto Rico was helped by having many major leaguers who normally would have taken off the time for spring training. Roberto Alomar (.560, 10 RBI, 9 R, .840 SLG, 2 SB) was the Series MVP and he was helped by Bernie Williams (.417, .875 SLG), Juan González (.375, .667 SLG), Edgar Martínez (.375, 9 RBI), Carlos Baerga, Rubén Sierra, a young Carlos Delgado hitting cleanup, Roberto Hernández, Rey Sánchez (.333), Doug Brocail (1-0, 1.00), José Alberro (1-0, 0.00 in 4 games), Eric Gunderson (1-0, 1.13), Ricky Bones and Chris Haney (2.45) among others. Sanchez had won the Puerto Rican Winter League batting title but batted 9th with the superb lineup in front of him.1995 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds' 1995 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds winning the National League Central, and the National League Division Series in three straight games over the Los Angeles Dodgers before losing the National League Championship Series in four games to the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves.1998 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds' 1998 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League Central.2001 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2001 followed the system in use since 1995. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected two: Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield. The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected two people from multiple classified ballots: Bill Mazeroski and Hilton Smith.
Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, were held August 5 with Commissioner Bud Selig presiding.2001 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds' 2001 season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League Central. The Reds were managed by Bob Boone.2002 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds' 2002 season consisted of the Reds finishing with a 78-84 record to finish in third place in the National League Central, 19 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds were managed by Bob Boone. The 2002 Reds season was their final in Cinergy Field.Cincinnati Reds award winners and league leaders
This article is a list of baseball players who are Cincinnati Reds players that are winners of Major League Baseball awards and recognitions, Reds awards and recognitions, and/or are league leaders in various statistical areas.Dominican Summer League Brewers
The Dominican Summer League Brewers are a minor league baseball team of the Dominican Summer League (DSL) that began play in 1992 as a Rookie-level affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are located in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic, and play their home games at the José Rijo Complex. The Brewers fielded no DSL team from 2004 to 2008. In 2009, the team shared a team with the Baltimore Orioles before once again fielding a team in 2010. In 2017 in addition to their own team, they also shared a team with the Cleveland Indians.Eric Plunk
Eric Vaughn Plunk (born September 3, 1963) is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1986-1999.Plunk was involved in two trades for Rickey Henderson. On December 5, 1984, as a minor leaguer, he was traded by the New York Yankees with Tim Birtsas, Jay Howell, Stan Javier, and José Rijo to the Oakland Athletics for Rickey Henderson, Bert Bradley, and cash. On June 21, 1989, he was traded by the Oakland Athletics with Greg Cadaret and Luis Polonia to the New York Yankees for Rickey Henderson. Plunk was part of the pennant-winning 1988 Athletics.
Known for his bookish looks and thick glasses, Plunk threw a mid- to upper 90s fastball and emerged with the Indians as a reliable set-up man in one of the American League's best bullpens.
Plunk's career took him to the Cleveland Indians as a free agent signing in the winter of 1992. There, he was the winning pitcher in the first ever game played at Jacobs Field on April 4, 1994. Plunk became one of the most reliable set-up men in baseball, posting a sub-3.00 earned run average in four consecutive seasons from 1993 to 1996. On September 17, 1996, Plunk pitched the final three innings and got the save in the Indians' 9-4 win over the White Sox that clinched the Tribe's second consecutive Central Division title.
Plunk's regular season success never translated over to the postseason. In 15 playoff appearances with the Athletics and Indians, Plunk had a 7.53 ERA and walked 10 batters in 14 innings of work. He was the losing pitcher for Game 3 of the 1997 World Series, his final postseason appearance.
Days before the trade deadline during the 1998 season, the Indians traded Plunk to the Milwaukee Brewers for Doug Jones. Plunk pitched one more season in the major leagues for the Brewers in 1999.List of Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starting pitchers
The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Cincinnati who play in the National League's Central Division. In their history, the franchise also played under the names Cincinnati Red Stockings and Cincinnati Redlegs. They played in the American Association from 1882 through 1889, and have played in the National League since 1890. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor that is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Reds have used 76 Opening Day starting pitchers since they began play as a Major League team in 1882.
The Reds have played in several different home ball parks. They played two seasons in their first home ball park, Bank Street Grounds, and had one win and one loss in Opening Day games there. The team had a record of six wins and ten losses in Opening Day games at League Park, and a record of three wins and seven losses in Opening Day games at the Palace of the Fans. The Reds played in Crosley Field from 1912 through the middle of the 1970 season, and had a record of 27 wins and 31 losses in Opening Day games there. They had an Opening Day record of 19 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie from 1971 through 2002 at Riverfront Stadium, and they have a record of three wins and six losses in Opening Day games at their current home ball park, the Great American Ball Park. That gives the Reds an overall Opening Day record of 59 wins, 66 losses and one tie at home. They have a record of three wins and one loss in Opening Day games on the road.Mario Soto holds the Reds' record for most Opening Day starts, with six. Tony Mullane, Pete Donohue and Aaron Harang have each made five Opening Day starts for the Reds. José Rijo and Johnny Cueto have each made four Opening Day starts for Cincinnati, while Ewell Blackwell, Tom Browning, Paul Derringer, Art Fromme, Si Johnson, Gary Nolan, Jim O'Toole, Tom Seaver, Bucky Walters and Will White each made three such starts for the Reds. Harang was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher every season from 2006–2010. Among the Reds' Opening Day starting pitchers, Seaver and Eppa Rixey have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.The Reds have won the World Series championship five times, in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990. Dutch Ruether was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher in 1919, Derringer in 1940, Don Gullett in 1975, Nolan in 1976 and Browning in 1990. The Reds won all five Opening Day games in seasons in which they won the World Series. In addition, prior to the existence of the modern World Series, the Reds won the American Association championship in 1882. White was their Opening Day starting pitcher that season, the franchise's first. Jack Billingham started one of the most famous Opening Day games in Reds history on April 4, 1974 against the Atlanta Braves. In that game, Billingham surrendered Hank Aaron's 714th career home run, which tied Babe Ruth's all time home run record.
Members of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame