Luis Mercedes (TRADING CARD DB)

Luis Mercedes

This article was written by Malcolm Allen

Luis Mercedes (TRADING CARD DB)Despite winning three professional batting titles, outfielder Luis Mercedes played only 70 major-league games over parts of three seasons (1991-1993) for the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants. After retiring, he became a renowned hitting instructor in his native Dominican Republic.

Luis Roberto Mercedes Santana was born on February 15, 1968, in San Pedro de Macorís. His father (whose name is unclear) sold bananas on the streets. Luis’s mother, Agustina, made clothes in a factory.1 The family home was tiny. “We were very, very poor,” Mercedes, one of the couple’s eight children, recalled.2

When Mercedes first played baseball, he was discouraged because his teammates laughed at him after he struck out. According to one reporter, “He cried, went home and told his dad that the game was too brutal for him.”3 Instead, Luis played basketball in organized leagues. As he matured, however, he noticed many of his peers helping their families with money earned playing professional baseball. His parents had divorced, and Luis’s father encouraged him to try the sport again. “With even a $2,000 bonus you can get a better house,” Mercedes noted. “It doesn’t sound good to say you play for money, and I love the game, but we come from such poor backgrounds that of course the money is important.”4

Luis started taking baseball seriously when he was 16; Indians shortstop Julio Franco was a player whom he admired.5 On February 16, 1987, the day after Luis’s 19th birthday, he signed a contract with Orioles scout Carlos Bernhardt.6 Mercedes debuted in the Dominican Summer League and led the circuit in hitting.7

In 1988, Mercedes played second base for the Bluefield (West Virginia) Orioles in the Rookie-level Appalachian League. On June 25, in Burlington, North Carolina, he capped a four-hit, three-steal performance by scoring the decisive run of a 27-inning marathon at 3:27 a.m., racing home from second on a bloop single.8 Bluefield’s record was 24-47, and Mercedes and double-play partner Ricky Gutiérrez were the only non-pitchers on the team with major league futures. In 59 games, Mercedes batted .274 and led the club in hits, runs, stolen bases and triples.

“[Mercedes] learned English in about a year. He’s one of the most intelligent people I know,” said first baseman David Segui, who befriended Mercedes in 1989 with the Frederick (Maryland) Keys in the Single-A Carolina League.9 “He had this innocence. He kept life simple and made you really appreciate his perspective…He was as genuine and real as they get.”10 According to Segui, Mercedes was a good cook but a messy roommate. They called each other “brother.” “Luis was a preacher at that point. He read the Bible with me every night,” Segui continued. “Luis wanted to have a nice career, make some money, and help his people. His heart was in giving back. He was building a church in San Pedro de Macorís.”

Regarding Mercedes the ballplayer, Segui said, “I never had a teammate so unselfish, so pure. We were each other’s hitting coaches.”11 Mercedes, Segui, and Pete Rose, Jr. were consistently the first players at the ballpark and the last to leave. “We didn’t want to stay there and make friends,” Segui explained. “We wanted to get to the big leagues.” The trio once hit so many balls in the parking lot of a Days Inn that the hotel office complained about damage to a chain link fence, causing Keys manager Jerry Narron to holler at the players. Each of the three reached the majors, albeit by different paths. Rose was demoted to a lower Single-A club after two dozen games and Segui hit his way into a summer promotion to Double-A, while Mercedes remained with Frederick all season.

Following a tough defeat, one Keys pitcher called Mercedes a “dumb Dominican” during the long, postgame bus ride and Mercedes answered with his fists, according to the Baltimore Sun.12 “I’ll get you,” the pitcher warned Mercedes. After the team checked into a Red Roof Inn in Durham, North Carolina, the pitcher and three other teammates — all white — beat up Mercedes in the hotel elevator. Segui recalled that Narron intervened, but noted in 2021, “The organization didn’t do anything to them…They should’ve been released on the spot. That was over the line.” The incident changed Mercedes. “I saw two completely different guys in the course of hours,” Segui described.13 “That’s when he flipped the switch…He was a pure, sweet kid, and they took advantage of it…He told me ‘I’m not getting taken advantage of anymore.’”

The Keys finished first in the Northern Division, led by Mercedes, who made the Carolina League All-Star team and won the batting title with a .309 average. He also stole 29 bases in 108 games. “He played just like Roberto Clemente,” Segui described. “He was borderline out of control, super aggressive, fearless.”

That winter, Mercedes played for his hometown’s Estrellas Orientales in the Dominican League, where he was converted into an outfielder. “In the infield, I had trouble making the double play,” he admitted.14 His teammate Segui batted .333, but Mercedes won the circuit’s Rookie of the Year honors with a .302 mark in 42 games, plus .282 in 18 round-robin playoff contests.

Mercedes was not a power hitter. He never produced more than 17 doubles or three home runs in a single season. In spring training 1990, he received some useful advice from a Hall of Fame slugger, Orioles’ manager Frank Robinson. “He said, ‘If you hit .309, maybe you can hit .325 if you bunt,’” Mercedes recalled.15 Indeed, for the Double-A Hagerstown (Maryland) Suns that season, Mercedes beat out 14 bunt singles and batted .334. He homered in his first Opening Day at bat, enjoyed a five-hit performance on August 29, and went 12-for-21 in the last six contests to overtake New Britain’s Jeff Bagwell (.333) for the Eastern League batting title. Mercedes was the first Baltimore prospect since Mark Corey (1977-78) to lead two minor leagues in hitting, and he never went more than two straight games without hitting safely.16 “It’s incredible to watch him hit,” remarked Suns’ pitcher Anthony Telford. “He just stands there. He looks sick on a pitch and then you come back with a better one and wham! And you go, ‘How did he hit that?’…If he doesn’t see the pitch he wants at the time, he won’t swing…I have seen him hit some balls off the top of his shoelaces for doubles.”17

For the Estrellas Orientales that winter, Mercedes batted .282 with 21 steals in 48 games and led the Dominican League with 33 runs scored. “I think he may be a little closer to the majors than people think,” remarked Robinson in spring training 1991. “One thing about him — you don’t have to remind him to run the ball out. He plays hard all the time. You have to get him to back off a little bit.”18

When Mercedes advanced to the Triple-A International League, the Rochester Red Wings’ skipper was Greg Biagini, who had managed the Estrellas Orientales during the previous two winters. “Luis Mercedes can be the prototype of a leadoff man,” Biagini observed. “His gift is his hand-eye coordination. He’s able to put the bat on the ball, use the whole field. He’s got a short, compact stroke.”19 Mercedes reached base safely in his first 34 contests.20 However, the streak was interrupted for 13 games when Rochester suspended him for “insubordination.”21 After Biagini yanked Mercedes from the first game of a May 17 doubleheader in Toledo and sent him back to Rochester, Orioles’ assistant GM Doug Melvin explained, “[Mercedes] just hasn’t played and hustled the way we want our players to play and hustle. He just wasn’t helping the team.”22 Apparently, Mercedes had taken a pre-season loan from the Red Wings and was confused by his smaller paychecks reflecting reimbursement deductions. The club had no Spanish-speaking officials to explain it.23

By the end of the season, the Orioles acknowledged the need to do more to help Latin players adjust throughout their organization. “If you don’t communicate then you’re not doing your job,” said GM Roland Hemond. “What Luis has gone through here is no different than what some of our [American] players go through when they play winter ball…We recognize that there are cultural changes and other adjustments that have to be made.”24

Mercedes continued to rub some teammates the wrong way. That summer, one insisted to beat writer Ken Rosenthal that Mercedes was “the biggest ass I’ve ever met.”25 Segui had been promoted to the majors by the time the comment was published, but he said, “There are a lot of guys who are jealous of [Mercedes] because of his ability. . .and a lot of guys are intimidated by him…He doesn’t take any B.S. from anybody. A lot of people don’t like that. He’s not going to kiss anybody’s butt, and a lot of people don’t like that either.”26

In July, Mercedes missed time with a hamstring injury.27 By August 24, however, he had an active 21-game hitting streak and a .334 batting average, trailing only the Syracuse Chiefs’ Derek Bell (.346). Bell was in left field when Mercedes’ IL season came to a shocking end that night in Syracuse. In the fifth inning, Mercedes was forced out at second base after stroking his third hit — but stopped on his way back to the dugout when Chiefs third baseman Tom Quinlan said something to him. They exchanged words and, suddenly, Mercedes hurled his batting helmet into Quinlan’s face, fracturing one of the infielder’s teeth and sending him to the hospital for X-rays.28 Mercedes was ejected, and IL President Randy Mobley soon fined him $300 and suspended him for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs. “There’s no question the punishment that’s been levied is severe,” Mobley said. “I would hope it’s severe enough to get the point across that it’s not something we can tolerate.”29

The Orioles — stumbling to a sixth-place finish — reconsidered their plans to call Mercedes up in September.30 The team was on the road when an anxious Mercedes arrived in Baltimore to work out at Memorial Stadium for a few days and meet with the front office. “We just pointed out the things you can’t do as you get to the big leagues,” Melvin explained. Manager Johnny Oates added, “You can’t just haul off and sock somebody in the face, even if you are provoked.”31 It was decided that Mercedes would watch two games next to Robinson — by then the assistant GM — when the team returned home, then be activated for the series finale. “[Mercedes] is a good kid at heart, and he’s highly competitive,” said Hemond. “We want to give him a chance to get acclimated to the big leagues.”32 Mercedes said, “I feel sorry about the incident. For me, it is in the past…It was very important for me to get here this year, see the pitching, learn the league.”33

When Mercedes, 23, started in right field against the Kansas City Royals on September 8, 1991, he became the first player from the Dominican Republic to sign with, be developed by and debut with the Orioles.34 That fall, his signing scout Carlos Bernhardt remarked, “I firmly believe that no Latin player is ready for the major leagues until he is, say, 23. It’s too much for their heads, coming from where they come from, to expect them to be comfortable at 20 or even 21.”35

Dominicans acquired from other organizations like José Mesa and Juan Bell had failed to live up to their potential with the Orioles, and Robinson said the time for Baltimore to provide English lessons and Spanish-speaking instructors throughout the organization was long overdue. “If we would have had this in place when Luis Mercedes came into the organization and when Juan Bell came over from the Dodgers, I think there’s a good chance their problems could have been avoided,” Robinson said. “You’re not only making them betters players. You’re making them better people.”36

Looking back in 2021, Segui remarked, “Luis communicated well, José Mesa communicated well. None of those guys had any issues acclimating to the country. There was a difference to how American players and Latins were treated…Now, it’s a lot better than it used to be.” Segui, the son of Cuban-born pitcher Diego Segui, had grown up in the United States and spoke perfect English, so he had a unique perspective. He’d heard front office personnel and umpires speak dismissively about Spanish-speaking players. “People didn’t filter [stuff] around me because they didn’t consider me one of them [Latinos],” Segui explained.

Mercedes’s uniform was dirty before the first inning of his debut was over. After leading off and reaching on an error, he dove headfirst into third after advancing two bases on an infield out. He then scored on a fielder’s choice. “What you saw was typical of the baserunner he is,” Oates observed. “Jerry Narron told us the only way to stop him is to put a rope on him. He runs until one of two things happens: he either scores or they tag him out.”37 Mercedes scored again after leading off the third inning with his first major league hit, a liner to right-center off Kevin Appier that his hustle turned into a double. After grounding out to end the fourth inning, a seventh-inning single and a ninth-inning walk gave him four times on base. “That’s the kind of game I’ve got,” Mercedes said. “In every league, the fans really like how I play.”38 The following night, Mercedes delivered a two-run, opposite-field double against the Yankees. He bunted the first pitch of a game at Fenway Park for a single a week later.39 Overall, he appeared in 19 games and hit .204 in 54 at bats.

In the Dominican Republic, Mercedes was known as “Loco Tama.” He married a woman named Danni, and she had a baby on the way.40 “I can’t just worry about myself anymore,” Mercedes said. “I pray to God to help me control my temper. In winter ball, I had a lot of fun. Everyone saw an improvement in my temper. A lot of scouts said, ‘You’ll be all right.’”41 Mercedes hit .333 to win another batting title as the Estrellas Orientales advanced to the finals. He played all 48 regular-season games and led the circuit in on-base percentage (.452), runs scored (35), walks (35) and stolen bases (18) to earn Dominican League MVP honors.

When Mercedes played against the Toronto Blue Jays in spring training 1992, there were rumors about a bounty to hit him in the head as payback for the batting helmet incident. As it happened, a pitch from Pat Hentgen — Quinlan’s 1991 Syracuse teammate — hit Mercedes in the ankle. “I know it was intentional because [Quinlan] yelled at me, ‘That was easy. Next time it will be hard,’” Mercedes reported. “If they want me to apologize again, I’ll apologize again. I’m trying to be a more smart player. I don’t want anybody to get hurt, and I don’t want to get hurt either.”42 Mercedes batted .250 in exhibition games, but defense was the main reason he was sent back to Rochester to begin the season. “We have to realize that he’s a converted infielder going to the outfield, and that takes time,” Oates explained.43 “Luis needs to play every day to get better in every phase of his game. He’s a nervous wreck when he’s on the bench, and it wouldn’t help him to stay here.”44

When first baseman Glenn Davis went on the disabled list 10 days into the season, Mercedes rejoined the Orioles. He stayed less than three weeks and went 1-for-20 in 10 games. He was back at Rochester by May 17 when his son Luigi was born. Beginning July 1, Mercedes went on a .351 tear to finish second in the International League batting race for the second straight year.45 His .313 batting average trailed Columbus’s J.T. Snow by .00005. Baltimore called Mercedes up in September, but with the team contending in the AL East, he received only 30 at bats. Overall, Mercedes appeared in 23 major league games in 1992 and batted .140. “I never get frustrated because I’m a young man,” he insisted. “I have to keep my mind going all the way. No matter if it’s here or somewhere else. I’ll keep going and I’ll play hard and give 110 percent all the time.”46

After batting .282 in winter ball, Mercedes resumed his battle to make the Orioles in 1993. Brady Anderson had claimed the left field/leadoff hitter job with a breakout ’92, so Mercedes joined a four-way competition for right field with powerful Rule 5 draftee Sherman Obando, lefty Chito Martínez, and another converted second baseman, switch-hitting speedster Mark McLemore. Mercedes suffered a setback when he sprained his ankle early in spring training and missed a week. “I’ve done everything I can in this organization. I feel so sad about it,” he said. “People don’t see the good things I do, they don’t appreciate what I do, they don’t trust what I can do…I do well, but I don’t see the reward.”47 Oates did not deny that some members of the Orioles’ organization continued to hold Mercedes’s temper-related incidents against him. “Rightfully or not, he’s gotten a name in his earlier years,” Oates acknowledged. “He never gave me one second of problems in the two years I’ve been managing. That’s a credit to Luis, where he’s directed his life. He’s a pleasure to be around.”48

On Opening Day against the Rangers, Mercedes batted eighth in Baltimore’s lineup. In the first 17 games, his seven right-field starts led the Orioles. McLemore’s proficiency at the position made the Dominican expendable, however. After batting .292 in 10 games, Mercedes was traded to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Kevin McGehee. “I feel very happy,” Mercedes said. “I don’t want to leave the Orioles, but I have to look at my future. It’s better for me to be with a team where I can play every day.”49

At first glance, it seemed like the Giants wanted Mercedes to replace center fielder Dave Martinez, who’d pulled a hamstring the same day. However, San Francisco skipper Dusty Baker told reporters that Mercedes’s acquisition had been consummated five minutes before Martinez was hurt.50 Mercedes started only three times for his new team, backing up Darren Lewis, before he was demoted to the Phoenix Firebirds of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League when Martinez returned on June 4. When Willie McGee went on the disabled list in July, Mercedes briefly returned to the majors. He was called up in September as well, but appeared in only 18 games overall for San Francisco, batting .160 in 25 at bats. In 70 games with Phoenix, he hit .291 with 14 steals, but his fielding percentage was a dismal .924.

That winter, Mercedes played poorly for the Estrellas Orientales, batting .217 in 44 games and grounding into 12 double plays. In spring training with the Giants in 1994, he provoked a bench-clearing brawl with a hard slide into Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston.51 Despite batting .333 in exhibition play, Mercedes was unconditionally released less than a week later.52 He did not play organized ball in the summer of ’94. His major league career ended with a .190 average in 153 at bats.

Mercedes came back in the Dominican League, leading the circuit in both hits and walks to produce a .352 batting average and .450 on-base percentage in 43 games. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed him in December, and he began 1995 back in the PCL with their Calgary Cannons affiliate. He batted .262 in 25 games before he was released again. By the end of May, Mercedes signed with the Mexican League’s Leones de Yucatán.53 He finished his seven-season career in the minors with a .312 batting average.

Despite appearing in only 38 regular-season contests that winter, Mercedes led the 1995-96 Dominican League with 27 runs scored. The Estrellas Orientales returned to the finals, aided by his .298 average and .303 mark in 19 playoff contests. After playing for the Mexican League’s Olmecas de Tabasco in 1996, he retired from summer competition. “I was frustrated. I was a good hitter. It was a very hasty decision in my life, a mistake, but I can’t go back in time,” he told the Diario Libre in 2014.54

Mercedes played two more seasons in the Dominican Republic, batting .250 in 44 games with the Estrellas Orientales in 1996-97 and going 0-for-8 in five contests with the Gigantes del Noroeste the following year. Overall, he hit .289 in 350 regular season Dominican League games, plus .268 in 90 playoff outings.

Prior to the 1998 season, Cubs’ slugger Sammy Sosa asked Mercedes to help him improve his hitting to the opposite field. Mercedes agreed, requesting no money in return, only that Sosa spread the news about any assistance that he received. Instead, Sosa paid cash, kept mum, and proceeded to blast 66 home runs and win the NL MVP award. “The work was done. The results were seen,” said Mercedes, who insisted that he appreciated Sosa for asking. But once rising star Robinson Canó improved after working with Mercedes a few years later, the latter’s teaching skills were no longer a secret.55 During Mercedes’ years as a hitting instructor for Dominican League teams, his pupils won three consecutive batting crowns. “God opened the doors for me to teach ,” Mercedes said.56 “I pray to God and he is the one who tells me what to do.”57

Through his role as Canó’s personal hitting instructor, Mercedes attracted clients on their way to stardom, like Edwin Encarnación, and fading greats like Albert Pujols. Infielder Jean Segura trained with Mercedes at Canó’s home and blossomed after widening his stance and lowering his hands.58 Marcell Ozuna — “one of my biggest transformations,” Mercedes said — overhauled his swing and batted .312 with 37 homers for the 2017 Marlins. Cuban-born Yasiel Puig hit a career-high 28 homers the same year. Venezuelan Francisco Cervelli and Puerto Rican Kennys Vargas also came to the Dominican Republic seeking Mercedes’s advice. “We pray before each practice…I put every problem in the hands of God, and he helps me solve it,” Mercedes said.59 “I’ve seen a lot of positive results, and when players listen to me, things can start to click right away. But not everybody is capable of listening and hearing your opinion. And when they don’t listen…”60

On September 18, 2018, Mercedes was hospitalized in Brooklyn, New York, for complications from diabetes. He needed a kidney donor and required frequent dialysis. By the time he returned to the Dominican Republic the following June, one of his legs had been amputated and the end was near.61 On June 30, 2019, he died from end-stage renal failure caused by diabetes mellitus.62 He was 51. Mercedes was survived by his widow, Danni, and six children: Luigi, Ricci, Mariam, Lili, Luis, and Shanty.63

Robinson Canó called Mercedes the “person to whom I owe most of my career.” He added, “I thank you for everything you did for me, I don’t have enough time or money to pay you. Everyone who knows me knows how important he was to me.”64 The Estrellas Orientales mourned the loss of their “eternal captain” and held a funeral on the field of Tetelo Vargas Stadium with Mercedes’s number 3 jersey draped on his coffin. Rico Carty, Félix José, Manny Alexander. and Pablo Ozuna were some of the former major leaguers in attendance.65 Mercedes is buried in Hato Mayor, the town north of San Pedro de Macoris where both of his parents were born.66

 

Acknowledgments

Special thanks to David Segui (telephone interview with Malcolm Allen, January 31, 2021).

This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Norman Macht and fact-checked by Brad Curpik.

 

Sources

Dominican League statistics from https://stats.winterballdata.com/players?key=2725 (subscription service)

In addition to sources cited in the Notes, the author also consulted www.baseball-reference.com and www.retrosheet.org.

 

Notes

1 “Dan el Último Adiós al Expelotero Luis Mercedes,” Listín Diario (Dominican Republic), July 3, 2019, https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/2019/07/03/572480/dan-el-ultimo-adios-al-expelotero-luis-mercedes (last accessed February 19, 2021).

2 John Eisenberg, “A Field of Dreams in the Third World,” Baltimore Sun, December 22, 1991: 1A.

3 Mel Antonen, “Orioles’ Mercedes Revs Up Batting Race,” USA Today, June 15, 1990: 8C.

4 Eisenberg, “A Field of Dreams in the Third World.”

5 Luis Mercedes, 1992 Pinnacle Rookie Idols Baseball Card.

6 1993 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 90.

7 Antonen, “Orioles’ Mercedes Revs Up Batting Race.”

8 “Bluefield Wins 27-inning, 8-hour Game,” Baltimore Sun, June 26, 198: 35.

9 Jim Henneman, “Newest Mercedes Collision May Cost Him Ride to Majors,” Baltimore Sun, August 27, 1991: E1.

10 Unless otherwise cited, all David Segui quotes are from a telephone interview with Malcolm Allen, January 31, 2021 (hereafter, Segui-Allen interview).

11 Segui-Allen interview.

12 Milton Kent, “Mercedes Hopes He’s in Running for a Major-League Job Next Year,” Baltimore Sun, September 26, 1992: 6C.

13 Henneman, “Newest Mercedes Collision May Cost Him Ride to Majors.”

14 Kent Baker, “Mercedes Wants to Put IL Suspension Behind Him,” Baltimore Sun, September 7, 1991: 3C.

15 Patti Singer, “Wings’ Mercedes Finishing Leadoff Hitter Apprenticeship,” Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, New York), April 12, 1991: 39.

16 1993 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 90.

17 Singer, “Wings’ Mercedes Finishing Leadoff Hitter Apprenticeship.”

18 Kent Baker, “Five Pitchers Sent Down, Leaving 39 Players in Camp,” Baltimore Sun, March 22, 1991: 6E.

19 Singer, “Wings’ Mercedes Finishing Leadoff Hitter Apprenticeship.”

20 Patti Singer, “Martinez Shrugs Off Any Credit, as Wings Rebound to Win 6 of 8,” Baltimore Sun, June 6, 1991: 5B.

21 Mark Maske, “Orioles Hope Mercedes in On the Right Road,” Washington Post, March 3, 1992: E8.

22 “Orioles Force Mercedes to Take Time Off,” Baltimore Sun, May 23, 1991: 6D.

23 Ken Rosenthal, “For Latin Players to Excel, Orioles’ Training Must, Too,” Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), September 11, 1991: G1.

24 Jim Henneman, “Mercedes’ First Shot Isn’t Birds Last Call,” Baltimore Sun, September 6, 1991: D1

25 Ken Rosenthal, “Mercedes Merits a Leadoff Look,” Evening Sun, August 16, 1991: C1.

26 Henneman, “Newest Mercedes Collision May Cost Him Ride to Majors.”

27 Patti Singer, “Red Wings Add Speed to Lineup,” Democrat & Chronicle, July 28, 1991: 57.

28 Patti Singer, “Red Wings’ Mercedes Ejected After Brawl,” Democrat & Chronicle, August 25, 1991: 63.

29 Patti Singer, “Outfielder Suspended for Rest of Season,” Democrat & Chronicle, August 27, 1991: 33.

30 Henneman, “Newest Mercedes Collision May Cost Him Ride to Majors.”

31 Maske, “Orioles Hope Mercedes in On the Right Road.”

32 Henneman, “Mercedes’ First Shot Isn’t Birds Last Call.”

33 Kent Baker, “Mercedes Wants to Put IL Suspension Behind Him,” Baltimore Sun, September 7, 1991: 3C.

34 The five Dominicans that played for Baltimore before Mercedes all signed originally with other organizations: Ozzie Virgil (Giants), José Mesa (Blue Jays), José Bautista (Mets) Juan Bell (Dodgers) and Francisco de la Rosa (Blue Jays).

35 John Eisenberg, “See Their Homes and Blinders Come Off,” Baltimore Sun, December 26, 1991: 1C.

36 Rosenthal, “For Latin Players to Excel, Orioles’ Training Must, Too.”

37 Kent Baker, “Mercedes Jump-Starts Offense in Memorable Big-League Debut,” Baltimore Sun, September 9, 1991: 3C.

38 Baker, “Mercedes Jump-Starts Offense in Memorable Big-League Debut.”

39 Joe Giuliotti, “Bolton’ll Still Take the Fifth,” Boston Herald, September 17, 1991: 76.

40 Mercedes’s wife name is spelled “Danni” in the Orioles 1992 Media Guide, and “Danis” in the 1993 version. Some Dominican sources spell it “Danny”.

41 Ken Rosenthal, “High Average Speed Demon,” Evening Sun, March 3, 1992: 1D.

42 Jim Henneman, “Mercedes Receives Payback for Incident from Year Ago,” Baltimore Sun, March 9, 1992: 2C.

43 Maske, “Orioles Hope Mercedes in On the Right Road.”

44 Jim Henneman, “Mercedes, Bell Demoted, Poole on DL Roster at 28,” Baltimore Sun, April 4, 1992: 3C.

45 1993 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 90.

46 Milton Kent, “Mercedes Hopes He’s in Running for a Major-League Job Next Year,” Baltimore Sun, September 26, 1992: 6C.

47 Peter Schmuck, “Mercedes Sprains Ankle, to be Revaluated,” Baltimore Sun, March 10, 1993: 2D.

48 Ken Murray, “Mercedes Sent to Giants for Minor-League Pitcher,” Baltimore Sun, April 30, 1993: 1E.

49 Mark Maske, “Orioles Sack Twins, 11-0, Send Mercedes to Giants for Pitcher,” Washington Post, April 30, 1993: C1.

50 Tony Cooper, “Martinez Placed on DL — Hamstring,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 1,1993: D8.

51 “Dehydrated OF Collapses After Phillies Game,” Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), March 21, 1994: 13C.

52 “Around the Camps,” Sun Sentinel, March 27, 1994: 11C.

53 Marco Almarez, “No Estoy 100%.” El Norte (Monterrey, Mexico), May 31, 1995: 9.

54 ”Luis Mercedes: ‘Dios Me Abrió Las Puertas Para Poder Enseñar’,“ Diario Libre (Dominican Republic), June 12, 2014, https://www.diariolibre.com/deportes/luis-mercedes-dios-me-abri-las-puertas-para-poder-ensear-EAdl914981 (last accessed February 22, 2021).

55 William Aish, “Luis Mercedes: Virtuoso Enseñando Arte de Bateo,” Listín Diario, February 15, 2018, https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/2018/02/15/502826/luis-mercedes-virtuoso-ensenando-arte-de-bateo?fbclid=IwAR2qDS-t-Bm6moe5Ab8CW2BtxOZ8Ji7r_9q6vINcVK_RkcyjXqO1bfUJcFc (last accessed February 22, 2021).

56 “Luis Mercedes: ‘Dios Me Abrió Las Puertas Para Poder Enseñar’.”

57 Aish, “Luis Mercedes: Virtuoso Enseñando Arte de Bateo.”

58 Eric Nusbaum, “The Evolution of Jean Segura, A Shortstop From Another Era,” Vice, March 28, 2017, https://www.vice.com/en/article/jp7vjp/the-evolution-of-jean-segura-a-shortstop-from-another-era (last accessed February 22, 2021).

59 Aish, “Luis Mercedes: Virtuoso Enseñando Arte de Bateo.”

60 Nusbaum, “The Evolution of Jean Segura, A Shortstop from Another Era.”

61 Iván Santana, “Sepultan los Restos del Expelotero Luis Mercedes,” Diario Noticia (Dominican Republic), July 2, 2019, https://www.diarionoticia.com.do/noticias/2019/julio/sepultanlosrestos.htm (last accessed February 19, 2021).

62 “Muere el ex Pelotero Luis Mercedes,” Diario Libre, June 30, 2019, https://www.diariolibre.com/deportes/beisbol/muere-el-ex-pelotero-luis-mercedes-IE13240293 (last accessed December 19, 2020).

63 “Funerales de Luis Mercedes Serán en Estadio Tetelo Vargas,” July 1, 2019, https://www.estrellasorientales.com.do/2019/07/01/funerales-de-luis-mercedes-seran-en-estadio-tetelo-vargas/#:~:text=A%20Mercedes%20le%20sobreviven%20su,por%20nueve%20temporadas%2C%20desde%201989. (last accessed February 22, 2021).

64 “Canó Sobre Muerte de Luis Mercedes: ‘Estoy Destrozado’.” Diario Libre, June 30, 2019, https://www.diariolibre.com/deportes/beisbol/cano-sobre-muerte-de-luis-mercedes-estoy-destrozado-AE13240330?amp=1?amp=1 (last accessed February 22, 2021).

65 “Dan el Ultimo Adios al Expelotero Luis Mercedes,”

66 “Funerales de Luis Mercedes Serán en Estadio Tetelo Vargas.”

Full Name

Luis Roberto Mercedes Santana

Born

February 15, 1968 at San Pedro de Macoris, (D.R.)

Died

June 30, 2019 at San Pedro de Macoris, (D.R.)

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