Manny Sanguillen

In his memoir, former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Steve Blass extolled the virtues of the non-verbal communication between a catcher and pitcher. “The reality of a pitcher’s relationship with his catcher is that if he is on a roll, he is almost his own decision maker…But Manny knew me just as much psychologically as the nuts and bolts of the actual pitch calling. And that is huge. And it comes with time…”1

To many, Manny Sanguillen was known primarily as an offensive player during his 13 seasons in the majors (1967; 1969-80). The Panamanian swung a big (40 ounces) and potent bat, hitting .296 lifetime with a .398 slugging percentage. “Sangy” did not take a lot of pitches (.326 on-base percentage), so he typically needed a hit to reach first base. For example, he did not walk until his 75th at-bat during the 1969 season. He gave a simple explanation, “When I started, nobody told me what a strike was, they gave me a bat and I swung at the ball!” Indeed, he was also a notorious bad-ball hitter. Former Pirates trainer Tony Bartirome remembered a time when Manny lined a single off of a ball that bounced before it reached the plate.2

Yet Sanguillen had other dimensions. With his strong arm, he caught 39% of the runners who tried to steal against him during his career. He was popular, with a broad, gap-toothed smile, and well rounded enough as a player to make the National League All-Star team three times. He also received MVP votes in four seasons. Winning the 1971 World Series was the highlight of Manny’s career, but he counted catching Bob Moose’s no-hitter on September 20, 1969 against the New York Mets as his proudest accomplishment. It was an example of his maturation in calling a game.

Manuel de Jesús Sanguillén Magán was born on March 21, 1944, in Colón, Panama. This is the nation’s second biggest city, lying near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. Note that in Spanish, the accent falls on the last syllable of his surname, but in the U.S., it was typically pronounced “San-GHEE-yen.” His father, Helio Sanguillén, was a fisherman. His mother, Zoila Magán, had 12 other children (six boys and six girls). Manny was right in the middle.

Those who were fortunate to see Manny Sanguillen play might not realize that he began playing baseball later in life. Instead, he preferred playing basketball and soccer as a youth. He also boxed, winning five of his seven bouts. When he did play baseball, it was mostly in the infield or outfield. Manny played a little at catcher but it was not his preference.

The man who made a pro baseball player out of Sanguillen was Herb Raybourne. Raybourne was a former pro (1959-61 in the minor leagues) who had grown up in Panama. He was an insider on the local baseball scene — in fact, he won the Panamanian batting title in the winter of 1960-61 — and went on to become an eminent scout. He became best known for discovering Mariano Rivera, but Sanguillen was the first of several prospects he found for the Pirates on the isthmus (the other biggest names being Rennie Stennett and Omar Moreno.

Though he kept on playing winter ball in Panama, Raybourne taught and coached baseball at a local high school. It was during that time that he went into scouting. Raybourne had done a little catching himself and after seeing Sanguillen catch, he convinced him to play behind the plate. Herb felt that the young Panamanian had the perfect frame — Manny was built like a bull at 6’0” and 190 pounds.

Raybourne first saw Manny play on a team made up of much older players. When the Pirates scout found out that the Houston Astros were also interested in the young catcher, he frantically wrote to Pete Peterson, the Pirates’ director of scouting. Peterson sent Howie Haak, who was considered a ‘super scout’ in the Pittsburgh organization and gained acclaim for opening up all of Latin America to the majors.

When Haak came to Panama, he asked Raybourn to run the prospects. Herb had a group of 10-12 players. The crafty scout held Sanguillen back to run last, in an attempt to showcase his exceptional speed for a big man. He ran an impressive 6.6 in the 60 yard dash.

Next, Raybourne had Manny get behind the plate and throw down to second. After a few throws, Haak exclaimed, “Wow! We got a player here!”3

Ironically, the young player’s baseball career almost ended with a foul pop-up. Sangy got a real kick out of recalling the incident. “I can laugh about it now. It was funny when it happened. I run back and I don’t see the ball. Then my head…oh, how it hurt. The people didn’t think it was funny.”4

Although Herb Raybourne thought of Manny as a son, he never met the Sanguillen family. They lived on the Atlantic Ocean side of Panama. But he knew that Manny sent money to them. So, Radbourne tried to get the best contract possible for him. This was not an easy task. The Pirate organization was apprehensive about giving a lot of money to raw, unproven talent. Peterson was willing to give Sanguillen an incentive contract. Bonuses were based on how he moved through the minors. For instance, if Manny remained on the Batavia (A) roster for 60 days, he would receive a $500 bonus. If he moved up to AA and stayed, he could earn an additional $1,000, and if he made it up to AAA, his bonus increased by another $1,500. Finally if he played for the Pirates, it meant an additional $5,000.5

The first place that Sanguillen played was at Batavia of the New York-Penn League. Not only was he playing at a higher level of baseball, he had to deal with a language barrier. “I couldn’t speak or read much English, I go to a restaurant in Batavia. The waitress, she didn’t know that I didn’t know English. She would say steak and I’d say ‘yeah.’ I don’t understand, but I like steak.”6

Sanguillen batted .235 in his first professional season, causing the Pirates to have doubts. Tom Saffell was his manager at Batavia and helped him become a better catcher. Manny felt that he learned how to play baseball in the professional ranks. When he became an established player on the Pirates, he recalled his time at Batavia. He remembered how Saffell did not let him take batting practice. Instead he caught it and also the game. Manny admitted getting really tired and worried about his hitting. Saffell told his young catcher not to worry about batting. “You will hit. Let’s make sure you can catch.”7

After the 1965 season, Sanguillen was making $350 a month but had saved only $500 to bring home. He felt it was not enough and decided to quit — he purchased a bus ticket to Panama. Fate stepped in. Danny Murtaugh, who was then serving as a special assistant to general manager Joe Brown, was standing at the door when the young catcher was leaving. Murtaugh let Manny know that Pirates were planning to protect him by putting him on the 40-man roster.8

After a brief conversation, Sanguillen calmed down. He read his Bible and prayed. It was the start of a trusting relationship between the catcher and his future manager in Pittsburgh. During the 1971 World Series, Murtaugh sought his opinion on the Oriole batters.

Although the Pirates’ management told him not to be concerned with his batting, Manny worked hard at it with a batting tee during the off-season. He also played winter ball at home in Panama. The Sporting News observed, “Catcher Manuel Sanguillen has impressed fans with his great improvement after one season of experience in Organized Baseball.”9 He won the batting title with a .370 mark for Santa Clara.10

His hard work paid off. He was the runner-up for the Carolina League batting title with Raleigh in 1966, and he was named to the All-Star team. Johnny Bench of the Peninsula Grays — the NL’s premier catcher during Sanguillen’s big-league career — was also selected. At the end of the season, Sanguillen was promoted to the Columbus Jets, where he appeared in nine games. He then played winter ball again in Panama, loyally staying home and refusing an offer to play in Nicaragua, even though his homeland’s league was reduced to just three teams.11

Sanguillen began at Columbus in 1967 but had to be brought up to Pittsburgh in July. The incumbent catcher, Jerry May, fractured his index finger and was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 21. With May out, the backstop duties fell to Jim Pagliaroni and Sanguillen. Manny’s old friend, Danny Murtaugh, had replaced Harry “the Hat” Walker as manager on July 18. Sanguillen reported to the parent club on July 23 and made his debut at Forbes Field against the Houston Astros. He caught Tommie Sisk as the Pirates won 15-2. The rookie went 1-for-5 and scored a run. He remained in Pittsburgh, catching in 30 games while batting .271.12

The Pirates were pleased with Sanguillen’s brief performance. They recommended that he play winter ball again. This time he went to the Dominican Republic, joining Águilas Cibaeñas. Pittsburgh also sold Jim Pagliaroni’s contract to the Oakland organization. Unfortunately, Manny broke a finger, which prevented him from making the opening day roster for 1968. Instead, he returned to the Columbus Jets, managed by Johnny Pesky. The injury hampered his hitting early in the season, but he batted .387 over his last 87 games to finish with a .316 average.

A healthy Sanguillen competed with Jerry May for the starting backstop job in 1969. May was coming off a poor season, having batted .219 in 1968. Larry Shepard, the Pirates manager (Murtaugh had returned to the front office), was quoted in the papers that May needed to beat out Sanguillen to keep his starting job. May was entering his fourth full season, yet he was the same age as Sanguillen. Shepard was confident in Manny defensively — yet felt that he needed to overcome one main drawback. He was well liked by his teammates, but his English was difficult to understand. Manny obviously had the raw tools — a rifle arm and quick bat — but his inability to communicate with pitchers was a concern.13

Eventually, Sanguillen became the regular behind the plate by virtue of his strengths, which made the young backstop’s English tolerable. Pirates reliever Chuck Hartenstein explained, “…everybody knows ‘in and out’ and ‘up and down’. That’s the primary part of pitching.”14 Shepard did not publicly announce Sangy as the starter, but May accepted a supporting role, committing to helping his rival become better.

Fortunately for Sanguillen, he had several Latin friends and role models on the club — players like Matty Alou, Manny Mota and José Pagán. Of course, he also played with Roberto Clemente, who acted like his older brother. Sanguillen also developed a special relationship with trainer Tony Bartirome. Tony, Manny, Pagán, and Alou were all big boxing fans. They regularly went to boxing matches in East McKeesport, a suburb of Pittsburgh.

Sanguillen discussed his peak personal accomplishment — handling Bob Moose’s no-hitter — in a conversation with the author. He proudly explained how they mixed pitches: the knuckle ball, sinker, and sidearm delivery. They alternated them for each inning. It was a windy day at New York’s now-demolished Shea Stadium, so the knuckler was especially successful. In the ninth inning, with two outs and Rod Gaspar at second, Art Shamsky bounced a ball to Dave Cash, who flipped to Al Oliver to end it. Moose won 4-0, walking three, while striking out six. The game also featured a one-handed grab by Roberto Clemente on a ball hit to the fence. 15 Ironically, Moose was responsible for Manny’s lowest point in his career, a wild pitch that ended the 1972 NL Championship Series on October 11, 1972.

Sanguillen’s maturation continued that December. He married Kathy Swanger, who lived in North Versailles, Pennsylvania. “My wife, she is a good baseball fan,” said Manny in 1971. “We talk baseball a lot. I don’t bring home my baseball problems to her. If I’m not hitting, I don’t talk baseball a lot. But, we talk about the good things that baseball has given us.”16

Sanguillen continued to gain respect around the league for his catching; unfortunately his ascension was largely overshadowed by Johnny Bench. The 1970 season marked the second consecutive year that Sangy’s batting average rose. His .325 was third best in the National League. The Pirates won a division title; only to lose in the NLCS to the Cincinnati Reds, led by Bench. Sanguillen had a quiet series against the Reds, going 2 for 12.

In spring training 1971, Pittsburgh played three exhibition games from March 12 through March 14 in Panama City. The opponent was a team of Panamanian All-Stars. Joe DiMaggio threw out the first ball. Some 38,000 fans turned out for the series, and Sanguillen went 5-for-11 with a homer in front of his countrymen.17

That season, Sanguillen finally began to get the reputation as one of the best all-around catchers in baseball. Meanwhile, Bench — the defending NL MVP — had an off-year. Sanguillen was chosen for his first All-Star team in 1971. Still, he did not play; Cincinnati manager Sparky Anderson decided to use Bench for the entire game.

Many of Sanguillen’s teammates felt that if not for Johnny Bench, he was the best catcher in the National League. They were similar to each other. Each possessed exceptional throwing arms, soft hands, and great agility behind the plate. Both had cultivated a rapport with their pitchers.18

The two of them also differed. Bench was glamorous, cool and unflappable. Sanguillen, on the other hand, was wildly demonstrative with unabashed enthusiasm. Sometimes his ebullience was misinterpreted as “hot-dogging.” Bench had much more power, but Sanguillen hit for a higher average and had unusual speed on the base paths for a catcher. Bench was also one of the foremost defensive catchers of his day, though Sanguillen polished his skills in this area.

Steve Blass answered the charges on hot-dogging. “Manny is not a ‘hot dog.’ He just enjoys playing and he shows it…He’s deceptive in that he puts more into catching than people realize. You tend to think of him as a hitter who can throw well. But he can spot my own weaknesses before I can. I pitch with a three-quarter delivery. If I drop below that, I’m in trouble. Manny notices my little change.” 19

The 1971 Pirates were a boisterous group that included players like Blass, Dave Giusti, Sanguillen, Bob Veale, Nellie Briles, and Willie Stargell. The clubhouse was diverse, with much good-natured ribbing that saw no color or ethnicity. This was never more evident than in a game against Philadelphia on September 1, 1971. Danny Murtaugh happened to write out an all-black lineup — the first ever in the majors. The Pirates manager claimed that he was simply playing those he felt gave them the best chance of winning. The lineup consisted of Stennett (2B), Gene Clines (CF), Clemente (RF), Stargell (LF), Sanguillen (C), Cash (3b), Oliver (1B), Jackie Hernandez (SS), and Dock Ellis (P). Sanguillen remembered the minority players having a good laugh over it. “We were making fun of everybody and we said, ‘We have it now!’”20

Pittsburgh repeated as winners of the NL’s Eastern Division. Sanguillen ended the 1971 season by batting .319, his third consecutive season over the .300 mark, with 81 RBIs. The Pirates went on to meet the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS; Sanguillen’s 4-for-15 performance was steady, yet unspectacular. He must have been saving his best for the World Series.

One of the more interesting stories of that Series occurred during the fifth game, on October 14. Nellie Briles had mastered the Baltimore Orioles up to the seventh inning. To that point, Briles and Sanguillen had blended their pitch selection well, spotting the fastball in and out, mixing speeds, inserting the palm ball and slider when needed. The Pirates were leading 4-0 and nine outs away from winning. This is when the two principals had a disagreement. When Manny wanted to continue their game plan, Briles disagreed and wanted to alter it. The result? Sangy refused to give signals for the rest of the game! It was a testament to his athleticism. Briles threw a complete-game shutout and put the Pirates ahead for the first time in the World Series!21

The Pirates and Orioles met on October 17, 1971 to play the seventh and deciding game at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. The pitching matchup was the same as in Game Three, Blass against Mike Cuellar. Baltimore trimmed Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth and had the tying run on third with two out. Blass and Sanguillen conferred on how to pitch to Davey Johnson, who had seen nothing but sliders all day. They looked to surprise him by setting up for another slider away, then coming with a fastball up and in, but eventually Blass retired Johnson on another slider, not his best. Blass retired Baltimore 1-2-3 in the ninth, and the Pirates were champions.

Manny Sanguillen batted .379 with 11 hits in the 1971 World Series, going 2-for-4 in the seventh game. He caught every inning of each of the seven games.22

While 1971 was probably the best year of his baseball career, Manny’s wife Kathy gave birth to their first child that December: Manuel Jr., weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces. They later had a daughter named Sarah in January 1978. The Sanguillens have five grandchildren: Siyah, Isaiah, Hannah, Kellen and Gianna.23

The Pirates began preparing to replace Roberto Clemente in the outfield during the 1972 season. They eyed Sanguillen as his successor, which would also have paved the way for Milt May to start behind the plate. Sanguillen, who had gained some outfield experience in the Puerto Rican Winter League, was willing to give it a go. The experiment was largely confined to the exhibition season, though; he played just two games in left field during the 1972 season.

That year, Manny missed joining the five other catchers in NL history who had posted four consecutive .300 seasons; he batted .298. Still, once again he was named to the All-Star game.24 This time he actually played. Manny replaced Bench in the sixth. He bounced out to second his first at bat, but his ninth-inning single helped to tie the game, and the NL won in the bottom of the tenth.

Milt May did get more playing time in 1972, relieving Sanguillen’s workload — though when the playoffs began (again versus Cincinnati), he was back behind the plate full-time. He enjoyed a good series with the bat, going 5-for-16 (.313). In fact, he was the hero of Game Three, knocking in the game-winner in the eighth inning after hitting a homer earlier. But the last pitch of that NLCS was arguably the lowest point of his career. With a 3-2 lead in Game Five and another trip to the World Series just three outs away, Giusti gave up the tying home run to Johnny Bench to lead off the bottom of the ninth, then gave way to Bob Moose after two more singles. Moose got two outs but threw a wild pitch to end a galling loss.25

During the 1972 offseason, Clemente invited Sanguillen down to Puerto Rico once more to play winter ball for the San Juan Senators. The Senators were coached by Roberto and stocked with several Pirates teammates, including Richie Zisk, Rennie Stennett, and Milt May. It was a great way for Sanguillen to stay in baseball shape, and he worked again on playing the outfield. Clemente had taken the young Panamanian under his wing, acting like an older brother. He enjoyed good-natured teasing.

“Sangy, what position do you play in the winter league?” asked Clemente.

“Right field, I play twenty in right, one in left,” replied Manny.

“Sangy, you play left field or go back to catching. You have no chance to take my job!” Roberto smiled.26

The mood changed to grave mourning, however, after the tragic crash of Clemente’s flight on a mercy mission to Nicaragua on December 31, 1972. Indeed, Sanguillen might have been on the flight too, except that he had misplaced his car keys. There was a big memorial for Roberto on the island. Many of the Pirates’ management and teammates traveled from the United States to attend. Sangy chose not to attend; instead, when a search party formed, he showed up ready to do anything to help. As an excellent and powerful swimmer, he went out with a group of volunteer divers on a rescue boat. They focused on the underground caverns of the coral reefs. A dragging operation brought up the badly broken body of Jerry Hall, the pilot. Seeing Hall’s body convinced Manny that he would not find his friend alive. 27

The loss of Clemente led the Pirates to accelerate Sanguillen’s move to right field during spring training. No one expected him to be another Clemente, but he showed early signs that he would be an above-average outfielder. He opened the 1973 season in right field. Unfortunately, Manny had more difficulty adjusting than expected. “Only I wish there was somebody in right field to talk to” he remarked.28 It soon became obvious that he and right field were not a match. The club started off terribly. Sanguillen was moved back to catcher by June 15. He set highs for games played (149), home runs (12), and extra base hits (45), but his batting average dipped to .282. His defense behind the plate was not as crisp as usual since he played 59 games in the outfield.

Pittsburgh rebounded to win the NL East again in 1974, with much help from Sanguillen, who returned to his form of 1970-72. Normally not a slow starter, his average floundered around .250 — but as the season progressed, he regained the .300 mark, finishing at .287. Sangy caught 151 games in 1974, including the last 53 of the season, but the Pirates lost the NLCS in four games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.29

Sanguillen’s batting average returned to the .300 level in 1975 — in fact, he hit a career-best .328, placing third in the NL. In part this was because he got more rest; the Pirates had obtained Duffy Dyer over the off-season.30 Batting in the #2 hole, the free-swinging Panamanian demonstrated more patience at the plate than ever before. He set another career high by walking 48 times. Sanguillen was selected to the All-Star team but once again spent it watching it from the bench. The Pirates won the NL East by 6½ games over Philadelphia but were swept by Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine.

In 1976, the Pirates did not win the NL East, for only the second time to that point in the decade. The Philadelphia Phillies were a rising power. Many of the Pirates became old; several of their perennial stars began to fade. Sanguillen batted .290, but he battled a sore shoulder the entire season.

As if the season was not disappointing enough, the team lost two members of its family during the off-season. Pitcher Bob Moose was killed in a car accident after celebrating his 29th birthday. Then in December, Danny Murtaugh (who had announced his retirement) died. The third blow to Pirates fans came when the club traded fan favorite Sanguillen. Pittsburgh had signed Chuck Tanner as manager from the Oakland A’s, and A’s owner Charlie O. Finley demanded the catcher as compensation.

Manny spent one year in Oakland. He appeared in 152 games and batted .275, mediocre for him. He split catching duties with Jeff Newman and was the team’s most frequently used designated hitter (the only time he ever served in this role).

Three days before Opening Day 1978, Pittsburgh reacquired Sanguillen. Several of his teammates were happy about reacquiring him — but two catchers were extremely disappointed and made it known. Ed Ott, concerned that Sanguillen would do the majority of the catching, said, “The deal stinks!” Ott added that it was not personal but felt he was back to where he was two years ago. Duffy Dyer was not pleased either. Dyer opened the season on the disabled list and manager Tanner named Ott the number-one catcher. Manny finished the season with a .264 batting average while playing on a limited basis.31

Sanguillen’s playing time decreased even more sharply in 1979. He appeared in just 56 games with the lowest batting average (.230) of his career. Though Manny was not a big part of the “We Are Family” team, he proved his value in Game Two of the World Series. In the top of the ninth of Game Two, with two men on, Manny pinch hit for Don Robinson. He lined a single to right field to bring in Ed Ott with the winning run. Kent Tekulve came in and nailed down the 3-2 win by retiring the Orioles in order including two strikeouts. The Pirates went on to win the World Series in seven games.32

Sanguillen’s playing time was limited almost strictly to pinch hitting in 1980 — he did not appear once behind the plate. Following the end of the season he was included in the trade that sent Bert Blyleven to the Cleveland Indians. Sangy was released during spring training 1981 and he retired.

Manny Sanguillen has remained a Pirates fan favorite in and around the Pittsburgh community. He is active in many of the Pirates’ alumni events. Sangy has also served as a guest catching instructor during spring training since 2002. Also in 2002, he agreed to host a barbeque stand behind centerfield at PNC Park that bears his name. He regales fans with stories about the glory days of the team.

As Tony Bartirome said, “If you didn’t like Manny, then there was something wrong with you!”33

Last revised: December 19, 2013


This biography appears in “When Pops Led the Family: The 1979 Pitttsburgh Pirates” (SABR, 2016), edited by Bill Nowlin and Gregory H. Wolf.




“May Put on Disabled List, Bucs Bring up Sanguillen,” The Sporting News, August 5, 1967

“Injury Bugaboo Finally Catches Up with Pirates,” The Sporting News, August 5, 1967

“Jet Set Musicians,” The Sporting News, May 18, 1968

“Who Will Be Protected? Here Are Some Good Guesses,” The Sporting News, October 12, 1968

“May Swinging Torrid Bat, to Retain Bucco Mitt,” The Sporting News, May 5, 1969

Charley Feeney, “Sanguillen Smiles, Buc Foes Moan,” The Sporting News, June 7, 1969

Charley Feeney, “Bucs’ Hebner a Headache for Hurlers,” The Sporting News, June 14, 1969

Charley Feeney, “Sanguillen Turns Mistakes Into Profit,” The Sporting News, August 30, 1969

Charley Feeney, “Moose Makes Lambs Out of Mets,” The Sporting News, October 4, 1969

N. L. flashes, “Brock Rates Arms,” The Sporting News, July 25, 1970

Charley Feeney, “$5,000 Manny Huge Pirate Treasure,” The Sporting News, May 1, 1971

Charley Feeney “Bucs Touting Manny as a Mighty Fine Catcher,” The Sporting News, July 3, 1971

Charley Feeney, “Job Switch? It’s Okay with Bucs’ Sanguillen,” The Sporting News, April 15, 1972

Charley Feeney, “Sanguillen in the Outfield? Bucs Ponder Key Shift,” The Sporting News, February 19, 1972

Charley Feeney, “Likeable Manny Draws Bucs Needles,” The Sporting News, July 15, 1972

Charley Feeney, “Manny Willing to Switch, But Not on a Daily Schedule,” The Sporting News, February 24, 1973

Charley Feeney, “Manny Gaining Altitude as a Pirate Hawk,” The Sporting News, May 19, 1973

Genevieve Waddell, “Lost Car Keys Kept Sanguillen Off Clemente Flight,” The Sporting News, May 19, 1973

Charley Feeney, “Sanguillen or May? One Is on Bucco Swap List,” The Sporting News, November 27, 1973

Charley Feeney, “Pirates Hot at Home, Cold on Road,” The Sporting News, July 20, 1974

Charley Feeney, “Bucs Give Big Hand to Manny, Their Maskman,” The Sporting News, August 24, 1974

Charley Feeney, “Catching Every Day is Just Play for Sanguillen,” The Sporting News, March 1, 1975

Charley Feeney, “Sanguillen’s Hefty Bat Key Weapon in Bucco Arsenal,” The Sporting News, August 16, 1975

Charley Feeney, “Pirates Puff Out Chests With Duffy on Duty,” The Sporting News, June 19, 1976

Charley Feeney, “Pirates Will Miss Sanguillen’s Smile and Bat,” The Sporting News, December 4, 1976

Tom Weir, “A’s Grateful for Sanguillen’s .300 Bat,” The Sporting News, March 19, 1977

Charley Feeney, “Deal for Sanguillen Rocks Pirates Catcher,” The Sporting News, April 22, 1978

Charley Feeney, “Manny, Rennie Will be Ex-Bucs,” The Sporting News, October 27, 1979

Rich Emert, “Where Are They Now?” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, April 10, 2003



Al Abrams, “Super Stardom Ahead for Sanguillen,” Baseball Digest, June 1970

Bob Lenoir, “Manny Sanguillen…Out of Clemente’s Shadow,” Baseball Digest, July 1975

Roy Blount, “Now Playing Right: Manny Sanguillen,” Sports Illustrated, March 19, 1973

Ron Fimrite, “Two Catchers Cut From Royal Cloth,” Sports Illustrated, June 26, 1976



Richard Peterson (Editor) and Roy McHugh(Author), The Pirates Reader, “Pitching Did It: Manny Believed,” Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003

David Maraniss, Clemente: The Passion & Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006

David Finoli and Bill Ranier, Bill, The Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia, Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2003

Willie Stargell and Tom Bird, Willie Stargell: An Autobiography, New York: Harper & Row, 1984

Colleen Hronich, The Whistling Irishman: Danny Murtaugh Remembered, Philadelphia: Sports Challenge Network, 2010

Bruce Markusen, The Team That Changed Baseball: Roberto Clemente and the 1971 Pirates, Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing LLC, 2006

Bruce Markusen, Roberto Clemente: The Great One, Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2001

Steve Blass and Erik Sherman, Steve Blass: A Pirate for Life, Chicago: Triumph Books, 2012

John McCollister, Tales from the Pittsburgh Pirates: Remembering “the Fam-A-Lee”, Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2005


Telephone interviews with author

Steve Blass, May 15, 2012

Tony Bartirome, May 24, 2012

Dave Giusti, June 2, 2012

Sally O’Leary, June 4, 2012

Manny Sanguillen, June 14, 2012

Herb Raybourne, August 13, 2012


E-mail correspondence with author

Sarah Sanguillen, October 31, 2012

Chuck Berry, December 23, 2012



1 Steve Blass and Erik Sherman, Steve Blass: A Pirate for Life, Chicago, Illinois: Triumph Books, 2012, 97.

2 Tony Bartirome, telephone interview with author, June 24, 2012

3 Herb Raybourne, telephone interview with author, August 13, 2012

4 Charley Feeney, “$5,000 Manny Huge Pirate Treasure,” The Sporting News, May 1, 1971

5 Herb Raybourne, telephone interview with author, August 13, 2013.

6 Feeney, “$5,000 Manny Huge Pirate Treasure”

7 Charley Feeney,“Sanguillen Turns Mistakes Into Profit,” The Sporting News, August 30, 1969

8 Colleen Hronich, The Whistling Irishman: Danny Murtaugh Remembered, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Sports Challenge Network, 2010

9 Abdiel Flynn, “Rummies Romp to Fast Start, Swing Hot Bats,” The Sporting News, December 25, 1965, 35.

10 Abdiel A. Flynn, “Buccos Boast Gem in Rough — Sanguillen’s Sizzling Warclub,” The Sporting News, February 5, 1966, 30. Abdiel A. Flynn, “Desousa Bat-Title Surge Falls Short,” The Sporting News, February 12, 1966, 26.

11 Abdiel A. Flynn, “League Officials Nix Plans to Add a Fourth Team,” The Sporting News, November 5, 1966, 41.

12 “May Put On Disabled List, Bucs Bring Up Sanguillen,” The Sporting News, August 5, 1967

13 “May Swinging Torrid Bat, to Remain Bucco Mitt,” The Sporting News, May 3, 1969

14 “Sanguillen Smiles, Buc Foes Moan,” The Sporting News, June 7, 1969

15 “Moose Makes Lambs Out of the Mets,” The Sporting News, October 4, 1969

16 Feeney, “$5,000 Manny Huge Pirate Treasure”

17 Charley Feeney, “38,000 See Bucs in Panama,” The Sporting News, March 27, 1971, 34. Dave Eisenberg, “Golf Keeps DiMag in Top Condition,” The Sporting News, March 20, 1971, 55.

18 Ron Fimrite, “Two Catchers Cut From Royal Cloth,” Sports Illustrated, June 26, 1972.

19 Ron Fimrite, “Two Catchers Cut From Royal Cloth,” Sports Illustrated, June 26, 1972.

20 Bruce Markusen, The Team That Changed Baseball: Roberto Clemente and the 1971 Pirates, Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing LLC, 2006

21 Markusen, The Team That Changed Baseball, 158.

22 Blass and Sherman, Steve Blass: A Pirate for Life, 174

23 Sarah Sanguillen, email correspondence with the author, October 31, 2012

24 David Finoli and Bill Ranier, Bill, The Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia, Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2003, 297-299

25 Willie Stargell and Tom Bird, Willie Stargell: An Autobiography, New York, New York: Harper & Row, 1984, 157

26 David Maraniss, Clemente: The Passion & Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero, New York, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006, 305

27 Maraniss, Clemente, 347.

28 Bruce Markusen, Roberto Clemente: The Great One, Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2001

29 Charley Feeney, “Catching Every Day Is Just Play for Sanguillen,” The Sporting News, March 1, 1975

30 Charley Feeney, “Sanguillen’s Hefty Bat Key Weapon in Bucco Arsenal,” The Sporting News, August 16, 1975

31 Charley Feeney, “Deal for Sanguillen Rocks Pirates’ Catcher,” The Sporting News, April 22, 1978

32 John McCollister, Tales from the Pittsburgh Pirates: Remembering “the Fam-A-Lee”, Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2005

33 Tony Bartirome, telephone interview with author, May 24, 2012

Full Name

Manuel de Jesus Sanguillen Magan


March 21, 1944 at Colon, Colon (Panama)

If you can help us improve this player’s biography, contact us.