Nino Espinosa (THE TOPPS COMPANY)

Nino Espinosa

This article was written by Malcolm Allen

Nino Espinosa (THE TOPPS COMPANY)Nino Espinosa was a right-handed pitcher with good control whose career ended prematurely because of a shoulder injury. After that, he became a scout in his native Dominican Republic until his tragic death from a heart attack at age 34.

Arnulfo Acevedo Espinosa was born on August 15, 1953, in Villa Altagracia, about 30 miles northwest of Santo Domingo in the country’s San Cristobal province.1 Nino was a childhood nickname. His parents, Julio Acevedo and Altagracia Espinosa, raised eight children — five sons and three daughters — on a 400-acre cattle farm operated by Nino’s father.2

During the 1960s, no National League pitcher won more games than a San Francisco Giants star nicknamed the “Dominican Dandy.” Like many of his countrymen, Nino followed the star’s exploits on the radio and dreamed. “I used to pretend that I was Juan Marichal, and sometimes I even kicked my leg way up high the way Juan did.”3

As a teen, Nino attended school, worked in a factory, and pitched whenever he could. “My father has always encouraged me to make it a career,” he recalled.4 Following his high school graduation in 1970, Nino went to New York to live with his brother Amable in the Bronx. Amable played baseball in Brooklyn’s Pan American League, so Nino tagged along to watch the games.

When Amable’s team found itself without a pitcher one day, Nino volunteered. “Why not?” he remembered thinking. “I got nothing to lose but a game.”5 He won that day and continued pitching as the team advanced to the playoffs. When Nino hurled a pair of victories to lead the team to the championship, scouts from both New York teams were watching. On September 30, 1970, Bubber Jonnard — a 72-year-old former big league catcher — signed the 17-year-old to a professional contract with the Mets.6

Though he never appeared in any minor league games, Nino’s older brother, Juan Acevedo, spent time in the Cardinals and Giants organizations in 1962 and 1963. Nino became known by a different surname in the United States because of the same confusion concerning Latino maternal surnames that caused the Rojas Alou brothers — Felipe, Matty and Jesus — to gain fame as, simply, the Alous. “When I signed, I wrote Arnulfo Acevedo Espinosa and I guess they thought my name was Espinosa,” he explained. “My father doesn’t understand it at all, but I guess I’ll have to keep Espinosa.”7

He began his career in 1971 with the unaffiliated Key West Sun Caps in the Single-A Florida State League. Other than a 16-year-old who only pitched 13 innings, Espinosa was the club’s youngest player. Despite starting only seven times, his 6-12 record gave him more defeats than any of his teammates on the 45-93 club. His 41 appearances and six saves led the team, and his 32 walks in 115 innings demonstrated good control.

Espinosa returned to the FSL in 1972 and teamed with other New York prospects on the Pompano Beach Mets. With 64 strikeouts and 12 walks in 89 innings, he had the league’s best strikeout-to-walk ratio and lowest base-on-balls rate outside of Orlando Pena, a 38-year-old major league veteran.

He spent a third year in Single-A in 1973 but did his pitching on the West Coast with the California League’s Visalia Mets. There, he moved into the rotation and went 10-10 to tie for the club lead in victories. In 25 starts, Espinosa pitched 174 innings and tossed seven complete games. “It’s really a matter of confidence. I seem to have it when I am the starting pitcher. I just feel more comfortable,” he said.8

After the season, Espinosa pitched in two games for the Aguilas Cibaeñas, the first of 13 consecutive years in which he’d suit up for the Dominican League club. On December 15, he married Fidea Bira.9 The couple had met in Villa Altagracia, and they’d have three children: Kathy in 1974, Nadaline two years later, and Anthony Arnulfo in 1979.10

The Mets promoted Espinosa to the Double-A Victoria Toros in 1974. He pitched well enough to be invited to the Texas League All-Star Game, where he hurled two scoreless innings.11 When Victoria won the Texas League title, he started the decisive game, but received no decision. Based on his 9-8 record with a 3.42 ERA during the regular season, the Mets brought the six-foot-one, 192-pound right-hander to New York for a look in September.

Espinosa’s major league debut came in the second game of a Friday the 13th doubleheader at Shea Stadium. He beat out an infield single in his first at bat and traded zeroes with Cubs right-hander Steve Stone. In the bottom of the seventh, Ted Martinez — another Dominican — homered with a man aboard to give New York the lead. Chicago seized a short-lived advantage of their own in the eighth when Andre Thornton took Espinosa deep, but the rookie left with no decision as the Mets lost in 11.

In 1975 he moved up to the Triple-A Tidewater Tides of the International League. He was 4-5 with a 2.90 ERA when the Mets summoned him at the beginning of July to fill in for injured reliever Bob Apodaca.12 After receiving the news in Memphis, Espinosa hustled to Norfolk to retrieve his car and clothes and head north. On July 1 he pitched two scoreless innings in another extra-inning loss to the Cubs. “I have never felt fear,” he told a reporter afterwards.13

He did taste defeat, however, after he surrendered six runs in a single inning of a tie game in Philadelphia four nights later. The Dominican returned to Triple-A shortly afterwards, but not before teammate Tom Seaver gave him a tip. “Seaver told me to bend my right knee more when I was pitching,” Espinosa recalled. “He said I was just pitching with my arm.”14

Espinosa took the advice to heart and found that it helped him keep the ball down and further sharpen his command. Tides pitching coach Billy Connors also helped him. “Billy helped me out with my delivery and my control. Sometimes I was stepping the wrong way and throwing across my body,” he explained.15 The Dominican never lost after returning from the majors, finishing 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA. Tidewater won the International League title, and Espinosa’s eight-strikeout shutout of Rochester in a one-game playoff on September 2 helped them claim the circuit’s best record.16

When the Aguilas repeated as Dominican champions that winter, Espinosa went 8-3 with a 2.52 ERA and led the league in complete games and innings pitched. In February 1976, he pitched for his country in the Caribbean Series for the first time, but lost, 4-0, to the Mexican team that went on to win it all.

Back at Tidewater in 1976, Espinosa went 7-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 14 starts, six of them complete games. “I’m getting my breaking pitches over now and I’m stronger,” he remarked after a May victory in Richmond.17 “Nino was the best pitcher in the league,” remarked Tides manager Tom Burgess.18 The Mets brought Espinosa back to the majors to stay one week before the All-Star break. When he reflected on his 15-8 two-year mark in Triple-A he said, “I really got the confidence that I belong here and not there.”19

The Mets were shut out, 2-0, the first time he started on August 1, but he earned his first major league victory six nights later in Pittsburgh. “I went out to get something to eat with Felix [Millan] and Pepe [Mangual)],” he recalled. “When I got back to the room around 1:30 a.m. or so, I got a telephone call from Billy Connors. He was calling from Jackson to congratulate me.”20

Espinosa finished his rookie season 4-4 (3.67) in 12 appearances. After going 7-6 in 15 starts for the Aguilas in winter ball, he reported to spring training in 1977 determined to make the team or ask for a trade. “For me, this has to be the year,” he said.21 He began the season in middle relief, but had Shea Stadium fans chanting, “Nino! Nino!” by the late innings of his first start on April 17.22 Espinosa beat the Cubs, 4-1, that day in his first big league complete game. Veteran Jerry Grote, who caught the last two innings, said, “For a 23-year-old, he has marvelous control of his pitches.”23

The disappointing Mets began a three-year stretch of last-place finishes in the N.L. East in 1977 and dealt Seaver to the Reds for four players on June 15. While the effect of trading the franchise player would take years to assess, its impact on some players was immediate. “One of the benefits of the Seaver trade is that Espinosa has been able to get into the five-man rotation and he knows exactly when he’s going to pitch,” said Joe Torre, the team’s player-manager.24

On July 2 in Montreal, Espinosa lost the majors’ first-ever matchup of Dominican starting pitchers. “Nino and I make history tonight, no?” said the Expos’ Santo Alcala, who earned the 4-3 victory. “We are good friends back home.”25 He fared better on September 14 in Philadelphia. Not only did he retire the last 17 batters in a row and beat eventual Cy Young Award winner Steve Carlton, 1-0, he knocked in the game’s only run with a two-out single in the fifth. “This is the best game I have ever pitched. I just want to cry I’m so happy,” he said after notching his first big-league shutout.26

“Nino had the best control of any pitcher I’ve ever caught,” insisted Mets catcher John Stearns. “He’s capable of pitching like that every time out.”27 He’d also pitched the first eight innings of a shutout win over Carlton in June. Overall, Espinosa’s 10-13 record gave him the most wins on the team. His 3.42 ERA also topped New York’s qualifiers. “Nino is the most consistent pitcher we’ve had this year,” remarked Torre.28

“Here’s the ball. You’re one of my five pitchers,” Torre told him when he arrived at spring training in 1978.29 “Everybody liked [Espinosa],” said Stearns. “He was quite an agitator, the kind of guy that got something started and then would walk away and laugh, leave you standing there.”30

The pitcher appreciated entering the season with a secure rotation spot for the first time. “Last year it was always in the back of my mind that I could be sent back down to Triple-A,” he explained. “This year, I don’t have to worry about that.”31 By the end of May, he was 5-2 with a 3.33 ERA, still following Seaver’s advice to bend his back knee. “If there’s dirt on the knee of my uniform, I know I’m pitching good,” he said.32

But he went 6-13 after June 1 and his ERA swelled to 4.73 as he allowed more earned runs than any pitcher in the NL. “I really don’t know the reason why, but he started aiming the ball,” observed Stearns. “He stopped getting the slider over, and his fastball wasn’t the same.”33

In winter ball, Espinosa pitched to a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts as the Aguilas won the Dominican League again. When he beat Venezuela, 1-0, in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 4, 1979, he became the first pitcher in Caribbean Series history to toss consecutive shutouts.34 He handed Venezuela their only defeat. As of 2020, only Odell Jones (1.38) has a better lifetime ERA in Caribbean Series play than Espinosa.35

Ten days before Opening Day in 1979, the Mets traded Espinosa to Philadelphia for corner infielder Richie Hebner and prospect Jose Moreno. Renowned scout Hugh Alexander urged the Phillies to make the deal. “Hugh has been higher on Espinosa than anyone else in our organization,” explained Player Personnel Director Paul Owens.36

Despite having family and many Dominican friends in New York, he welcomed the trade. “When I lived in New York, I was afraid to go out at night. People would always recognize me, and somebody would announce to the crowd, ‘Let’s welcome Nino Espinosa of the Mets,’” he explained.37 Going to Philadelphia also meant joining the team that had won the last three NL East division titles. “I love to pitch in pressure games, but there have not been many with the Mets,” he said.38

Espinosa got off to a great start. By May 10, he was 5-1 with a league-best 1.25 ERA after enjoying a string of 34 innings without allowing an earned run. “He’s really a lot of fun to catch,” observed Philadelphia backstop Bob Boone. “He can throw the breaking ball any time, he changes speeds a lot, and he can come in on the batters.”39

The Dominican felt at home in his new clubhouse. “One of Nino’s closest friends on the team was Bake McBride. Whenever the two of them were together, you knew they were up to something,” recalled center fielder Garry Maddox. “One minute they were talking, and the next they were laughing so loud you had to go down and ask what was happening.”40

Espinosa endured a rough patch and missed two starts with a severe case of tonsillitis, but that was nothing compared to the injuries that caused fellow starters Larry Christenson and Dick Ruthven to miss most of the second half.41 As Philadelphia attempted to hang on in the NL East race, six of Nino’s outings in one eight-start stretch came on only three days’ rest. “I had never done that before,” he said later. “My arm did not have time to come back.”42

His complete-game win in San Diego on July 22 pulled Philadelphia within 2½ games of first, but twin six-game losing streaks over the next two weeks doomed their chances. Nevertheless, Espinosa had already won a career-high dozen games by the time he warmed up at Riverfront Stadium on August 15. “It was my 26th birthday,” he recalled. “I threw a couple of pitches and felt a little twinge on the top of my right shoulder near the joint. I continued warming up, but it seemed like my arm would not loosen like it usually does.”43

He beat the Reds with a five-hitter but felt pain and stiffness the next day. Nevertheless, he kept pitching. “I felt I should not walk out on the team,” he explained.44 His only win in his last eight starts was his fourth victory in five tries against the Mets. “Nino didn’t have much tonight,” said Stearns afterwards. “He’s gotten to the point now where he can go out and win without his good stuff and that’s the sign of a good major league pitcher.”45

Espinosa was 14-12 with a 3.65 ERA when the fourth-place Phillies let him return to the Dominican Republic a few days early, nursing a sore shoulder.46 In winter ball, he made three starts for the Aguilas, but pitched only 10 innings. Nothing improved by spring training and he opened the 1980 season on the disabled list with bursitis. “It only hurts when I throw,” he said.47

By mid-June, his younger brother, Julio Acevedo, was preparing to begin his pitching career with Philadelphia’s Single-A Northwest League affiliate in Central Oregon, but Nino remained inactive. The Phillies were fighting to reach the top of the NL East without any help from him or veteran reliever Warren Brusstar and new manager Dallas Green was frustrated. “Green to Nino and Bru: Pitch or Quit!” read one local headline.48 Upset, Espinosa met with Green and emerged satisfied that the media had blown the skipper’s remarks out of proportion. “When all the medical people say you are structurally sound, you have to go out and throw. You have to try to pitch through it,” explained Green, himself a former pitcher.

Espinosa didn’t want to rehab with Philadelphia’s Single-A team in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for 20 days, but he agreed to go for 10. “I felt really good. My arm had no pain,” he said after tossing four innings of one-hit ball on June 17.49 After two more starts, he rejoined the Phillies and pitched eight scoreless innings in his season debut on the Fourth of July in St. Louis. By August 14, he was 3-3 after hurling a complete-game five-hitter, but he failed to get beyond five innings in any of his next three starts. “I didn’t have the usual velocity, but I thought I threw well at times,” he said. “If I had it to do over, I probably would have stayed out longer to strengthen my arm and shoulder.”50

Espinosa only pitched once in the last month, while September call-up Marty Bystrom won all five of his starts to help Philadelphia clinch the division on the final weekend. Though Espinosa, not Bystrom, had been on the team as of August 31, the normal deadline for playoff roster eligibility, the Phillies appealed to the National League for permission to switch pitchers. When the request was granted just hours before the beginning of the NLCS, manager Bill Virdon of the opposing Astros said, “The people who made the decision feel that Espinosa’s injury is legitimate, so it’s alright with me.”51 Considering the Dominican had hurled seven shutout innings in his only September appearance, however, an anonymous Astros player who complained about “convenient bursitis” was hardly alone in his thinking.52

As it happened, a star Houston pitcher had collapsed from a stroke that summer after missing time with mysterious ailments that some doubted were real. “In a sense, my problem was like J.R. Richard’s,” Espinosa said. “A lot of people did not think I was hurting, that my arm problem was in my head.”53 Owens tried to set the record straight. “I started working on it September 10 because Espinosa was hurt,” he insisted. “I got all my stuff together — all my doctors’ opinions, got them notarized, sent them to [National League President Chub] Feeney and explained the situation. They approved it long before we even clinched.”54

Espinosa put on his uniform and cheered for his teammates throughout the post-season. “He took it like a man,” Owens said.55 Outfielder John Vukovich added, “The way he handled that says as much as you can say about an individual.”56 After the Phillies beat the Royals in six games to win the World Series, Espinosa was in tears. “They thought I was crying because I was happy, but I was crying because this is what I always dreamed of, and I could not help at all,” he confessed later.57

After pitching only 26 innings in winter ball, Espinosa called his first start of the 1981 season “one of the most important of my career.”58 “Nino was hurt by what happened last fall,” explained second baseman Manny Trillo. “He takes a lot of pride. He wants to come back strong, to prove he is still a good pitcher.”59 He beat the Cubs with a complete game in his season debut, but his record was just 2-4 with a 5.90 ERA when the players went on strike in June. After play resumed, he made four more starts, but didn’t win any of them and the Phillies released him. “Being Latin is one of the reasons I got released,” he complained. “They won’t allow a Latin to be hurt. When all the other guys got hurt, Steve Carlton and I had to pitch on three days’ rest.”60

After Espinosa signed with the Blue Jays and pitched one inning for them on September 23, Toronto GM Pat Gillick and manager Bobby Cox flew to the Dominican Republic to watch him in winter ball. In 14 starts for the Aguilas, he went 7-4 with a 3.34 ERA to earn Comeback Player of the Year honors.61 The Blue Jays brain trust witnessed one 99-pitch complete game and signed him through 1983. “He is sound. He has had no problems with his arm whatsoever,” said Gillick. “I know Bobby is thinking in terms of a five-man starting rotation and Espinosa would fit right in.”62

After Espinosa allowed 31 hits in 21 spring training innings, however, Toronto waived him.63 When no team claimed him, he refused to go to Triple-A Syracuse as the Jays hoped, opting to pitch in Mexico instead.64 For the Mexico City Tigers, he went 0-1 in four games.65 He began 1983 in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, but did not appear at any level. His eight-year major league career ended with a 44-55 record and 4.17 ERA. He pitched three more winters for the Aguilas.

In the fall of 1983, Nino became the Cubs’ only full-time scout in the Dominican Republic, working for Dallas Green, who’d become Chicago’s GM after leaving the Phillies.66 Soon, Espinosa was running the Cubs baseball academy in Moca. “He was in charge of the entire organization over there,” said Ruben Amaro, then the club’s Director of Latin American Scouting. “The organization thought very highly of him.”67

In 1985, Espinosa was hospitalized for five or six days with heart problems, and he reportedly ignored his doctor’s advice to undergo regular checkups.68 He continued to run three or four times a week and pitch batting practice each day for up to an hour. His younger brother, Julio, helped him instruct the pitching prospects.

On Christmas Eve 1987, tragedy struck. “Tony [Pena called me from Nino’s house. He told me Nino was sitting down to dinner with his family around 6 o’clock,” Amaro recalled. “Then all of a sudden, he fell over.”69 Espinosa’s loved ones sprang into action, but he was dead from a heart attack before he reached the hospital. He was only 34.

The Cubs responded to Espinosa’s sudden death by putting black armbands on the jerseys of their minor leaguers in 1988.70 The Aguilas retired his number 32 and his statue is included in a tribute to the team’s legends near their ballpark. In 1996, he was inducted into the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame. Since 2011, aspiring ballplayers hoping to attract major league scouts in Villa Altagracia can showcase their skills in Nino Espinosa Stadium.71

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Norman Macht and fact-checked by Chris Rainey.

 

Sources

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

Dominican winter stats confirmed via winterballdata.com (subscription service).

 

Notes

1 Some sources, including a 1970 New York Mets questionnaire that the pitcher filled out himself, spell his first name Anulfo.

2 Martin Raibovsky, “Espinosa: A Pitcher in Control,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 10, 1979: 4D.

3 Joseph Durso, “Espinosa’s Pitching Subdues Cubs,” New York Times, April 17, 1977: S1.

4 Anulfo Acevedo, “New York Mets Questionnaire,” December 21, 1970.

5 Raibovsky, “Espinosa: A Pitcher in Control.”

6 “Clarence Jonnard, 79, a Major League Scout,” New York Times, August 25, 1977: 22.

7 Paul L. Montgomery, “Cubs Win in 10th, 5-4, as Mets Rally in Vain,” New York Times, July 2, 1975: 23.

8 Pat Calabria, “Mets Rookie Espinosa Checks Reds,” Newsday (Long Island, New York), August 15, 1976: E4.

9 Wedding date comes from The Sporting News contract card database. That source spells her name Fidias Marinas Beras.

10 1981 Philadelphia Phillies Media Guide.

11 Espinosa’s 1979 Topps Baseball Card.

12 Augie Borgi, “Stitched-Up Apodaca Disabled; Mets Mend Pen with Espinosa,” Daily News (New York), July 1,1975: C24.

13 Montgomery, “Cubs Win in 10th.”

14 Al Harvin, “Mets and Espinosa Stifle Cards, 4-1,” New York Times, August 10, 1977: A16.

15 Augie Borgi, “No. 5 Starting Role Just Fine with Espinosa,” Daily News, August 10, 1976: 50.

16 “Int. Index,” The Sporting News, September 20, 1975: 34.

17 “Nino Feels Good,” The Sporting News, June 19,1976: 48.

18 Jack Lang, “Mets Concerned Over Matlack’s Early Fizzles,” The Sporting News, May 7, 1977: 10.

19 Gary Rinford, “Rotation Brings Espinosa Around,” New York Times, August 10,1977: 102.

20 Borgi, “No. 5 Starting Role Just Fine with Espinosa.”

21 Jack Wilkinson, “Espinosa Ends Mets Slide, 4-1,” Daily News (New York), April 117, 1977: 219.

22 Wilkinson, “Espinosa Ends Mets Slide, 4-1.”

23 Joe Donnelly, “It Was Start –and Finish—for Nino,” Newsday, April 17, 1977: E3.

24 Harvin, “Mets and Espinosa Stifle Cards, 4-1.”

25 Parton Keese, “Espinosa is the Loser, Alcala is the Victor,” New York Times, July 3, 1977: 109.

26 Jack Lang, “Nino 3-Hits Phils, 1-0; Tops Carlton With RBI Single,” Daily News, September 15, 1977: 213.

27 Parton Keese, “Espinosa Bats in Run and Hurls 3-Hitter as Mets Top Phils by 1-0,” New York Times, September 15, 1977: 62.

28 Bill Livingston, “Espinosa…a ‘Matador’ with a Double-edged Sword,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 15, 1977: 2C.

29 Pat Calabria, “Espinosa Does it His Way In a 3-0 Shutout,” Newsday, June 21, 1978: 118.

30 Frank Dolson, “The Untimely Death of Nino Espinosa,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 6, 1988: 39.

31 Calabria, “Espinosa Does it His Way In a 3-0 Shutout.”

32 “Espinosa, New Met Pitching Star, Wins,” Los Angeles Times, May 29, 1978: E6.

33 Martin Raibovsky, “Espinosa: A Pitcher in Control,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 10, 1979: 4D.

34 Luichy Sanchez Peralta, “Las Blanquedas de Espinosa y Lantigua,” https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/2016/02/01/406062/las-blanqueadas-de-espinosa-y-lantigua (last accessed October 27, 2020).

35 “Lideres de Por Vida. Lanzadores,” http://www.seriedelcaribe.net/articulos/lideres-de-por-vida-lanzadores/ (last accessed October 27, 2020).

36 Hal Bodley, “Super Scout Sold Phils on Espinosa,” The Sporting News, April 14,1979: 34.

37 Raibovsky, “Espinosa: A Pitcher in Control.”

38 Bodley, “Super Scout Sold Phils on Espinosa.”

39 Gary Binford, “Espinosa Doing Better Than Mates,” Newsday, September 12,1979: 123.

40 Garry Maddox, “Remembering Nino,” Philadelphia Daily News, January 8, 1988: 114.

41 Hal Bodley, “Shell Shocked Phillies Trying to Pick Up Pieces,” The Sporting News, June 23, 1979: 35.

42 Hal Bodley, “Nino Finds New Happiness as Phil,” The Sporting News, September 6, 1980: 29.

43 Bodley, “Nino Finds New Happiness as Phil.”

44 Bodley, “Nino Finds New Happiness as Phil.”

45 Binford, “Espinosa Doing Better Than Mates.”

46 Hal Bodley, “Pete Leaves Fans Cheering and Ty Cobb in the Dust,” The Sporting News, October 13, 1979: 32.

47 Bill Conlin, “Time to Get Excited, Time to Stay Cool,” The Sporting News, May 3, 1980: 8.

48 Bodley, “Nino Finds New Happiness as Phil.”

49 “Class-A Leagues,” The Sporting News, July 12, 1980: 54.

50 Hal Bodley, “Nino’s Heart and Arm Rate ‘Ole!’ from Phils,” The Sporting News, May 9, 1981: 27.

51 Reidenbaugh, “A Break for Bystrom — Phil Request Okayed.”

52 Lowell Reidenbaugh, “A Break for Bystrom — Phil Request Okayed,” The Sporting News, October 25, 1980: 16.

53 Bodley, “Nino Finds New Happiness as Phil.”

54 Frank Dolson, “Phillies Too Healthy for Matuszek’s Good,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 27, 1983: E1.

55 Dolson, “The Untimely Death of Nino Espinosa.”

56 Dolson, “The Untimely Death of Nino Espinosa.”

57 Allen Abel, “$15 Basketball Pool, Mayberry’s Finances Just Part of the Banter,” Globe and Mail (Toronto), March 13, 1982: S2.

58 Bodley, “Nino’s Heart and Arm Rate ‘Ole!’ from Phils.”

59 Bodley, “Nino’s Heart and Arm Rate ‘Ole!’ from Phils.”

60 Abel, “$15 Basketball Pool, Mayberry’s Finances Just Part of the Banter.”

61 Neil MacCarl, “Upshaw Slugs Way into Jays Hearts,” The Sporting News, April 17, 1982: 20.

62 Neil MacCarl, “Gamble Pays Off for Jays, Espinosa,” The Sporting News, January 30, 1982: 56.

63 MacCarl, “Upshaw Slugs Way into Jays Hearts.”

64 Paul Patton, “Stieb Ready Despite Cold,” Globe and Mail, April 6, 1982: S3.

65 “Bucs Sign Espinosa,” Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1983: 10C.

66 Dave Hoekstra, “A Land of Hope, Dreams: Cubs Seek Untapped Talent in the Dominican Republic,” Chicago Sun-Times, February 29, 1988: 12.

67 Dolson, “The Untimely Death of Nino Espinosa.”

68 Cuqui Córdova, “Nino Espinosa Murió el 24.12.1987,” https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/2014/03/28/316098/nino-espinosa-murio-el-24-12-1987-a-los-34-anos-y-fue-exaltado-a-la-inmortalidad-el-20-10-1996 (last accessed October 24, 2020).

69 Dolson, “The Untimely Death of Nino Espinosa.”

70 Marty Noble, “Notes & Quotes,” Newsday, February 23, 1988: 113.

71 “CEA Reconstruye un Estadio Beisbol,” https://hoy.com.do/cea-reconstruye-un-estadio-beisbol/ (last accessed October 24, 2020).

Full Name

Arnulfo Acevedo Espinosa

Born

August 15, 1953 at Villa Altagracia, San Cristobal (D.R.)

Died

December 24, 1987 at Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional (D.R.)

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