Roberto Peña (THE TOPPS COMPANY)

Roberto Peña

This article was written by Malcolm Allen

Roberto Peña (THE TOPPS COMPANY)During a 16-year professional baseball career spanning 1959 to 1974, Roberto Peña was a stalwart shortstop in his homeland, the Dominican Republic. He played for two winter league champions and earned posthumous retirement of his uniform number by the Santiago-based Águilas Cibaeñas. Over parts of six big-league seasons (1965-1971), Peña broke in with the Chicago Cubs, became the majors’ first Dominican everyday shortstop with the Philadelphia Phillies, and started the inaugural game for the San Diego Padres franchise. After a cup of coffee with the Oakland A’s, he hit the first grand slam in Milwaukee Brewers history.

Roberto César Peña Ramírez was born on April 17, 1937, in Santo Domingo (then known as Ciudad Trujillo). However, his birth year was listed as 1940 throughout his playing career.1 Little information about his family is available, but The Sporting News mentioned that he had a brother.2 On an early-career publicity questionnaire, Peña said he attended the Socorro Sánchez school through the eighth grade and worked as a mechanic.3

Amateur clubs sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, Cami, and Línea Germania afforded Peña his first baseball experience.4 Boxing was his other favorite sport, and he hoped to travel to the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago as a featherweight fighter.5 With dictator Rafael L. Trujillo in power, however, the personal preferences of Dominican athletes carried little weight.6 While Peña did travel to the Windy City that summer, he represented his country as a member of the baseball team, which started future National League batting champion Rico Carty at catcher. After the Dominicans won two of five games contests played at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park, Peña recalled, “A man from the Pirates offered me a contract.”7 That man, Howie Haak, was the scout who had recommended that Pittsburgh draft Roberto Clemente from the Dodgers organization. Haak eventually earned the nickname “King of the Caribbean” by signing dozens of players, including All-Stars from the Dominican Republic (Julián Javier), Venezuela (Tony Armas) and Panama (Manny Sanguillén).8 That winter, for the Águilas Cibaeñas in the Dominican League, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Peña — nicknamed “Peñita” — batted .213 in 42 contests as second baseman Javier’s primary double play partner.9

In 1960, Peña helped the Hobbs (New Mexico) Pirates win the championship of the Class D Sophomore League. Although he committed 67 errors in his 120 games, he led the circuit’s shortstops in putouts and assists.10 Offensively, Peña batted .292 with three homers and 76 RBIs, stole 31 bases in 34 attempts, and led the league in runs scored (121), walks (99) and hit-by-pitches (15). In the playoffs, Hobbs defeated Alpine, two games to one, with Peña delivering the decisive hit in the 11th inning of the opener.11

That winter, Peña batted .269 in 42 Dominican League games. The Águilas reached the finals but fell to a Leones del Escogido squad featuring Juan Marichal and the Alou brothers: Felipe, Mateo, and Jesús.

Pittsburgh promoted Peña to the Burlington (Iowa) Bees in 1961. In 129 games, he cut his errors to 36 and paced Class-B Three-I League shortstops in putouts, assists, and double plays.12 He also batted .272 with five homers and 70 RBIs, and topped his team in runs scored (86), doubles (26), and steals (23). The circuit’s players and managers voted him to the All-Star team.13

When The Sporting News published the Dominican League’s batting leaders through November 15, Peña’s .348 average (16-for-46) ranked fourth, but the season wasn’t completed because of ongoing unrest following Trujillo’s May 30 assassination.14 Dominican League play was canceled altogether the following winter.

Peña began the 1962 season with the Asheville (North Carolina) Tourists in the Class-A South Atlantic League. He hit .244 in 13 games before he was demoted to the Kinston (North Carolina) Eagles on May 3. There, his .326 mark in 78 contests was the Class-B Carolina League’s second best until he suffered a season-ending broken leg in a collision at first base.15

The South Atlantic League was reclassified as Double-A in 1963. Following the winter’s layoff, Peña returned to Asheville and proved he was healthy by appearing in 138 of the club’s 140 games and batting .268 with four homers and 68 RBIs. The Pirates added him to their 40-man winter roster. The Dominican League played a full campaign for the first time in three years that winter, with Peña leading the circuit in games played (58) and plate appearances while hitting .299 with 34 runs scored.

Peña started 1964 with the Columbus (Ohio) Jets in the Triple-A International League but lasted only 12 games, in which he went 1-for-30 and made six errors — four of them against Buffalo on April 25.16 Sent back to Asheville, he batted .303 in 113 contests with 14 home runs, doubling his previous single-season best. “He’s more of a line drive hitter than a home run slugger,” noted Chicago Cubs scout Rube Wilson, who raved about Peña following a month-long visit to the Dominican League. “Actually, he may be a better fielder than hitter. But what impressed me most is that he really wants to play.”17 On December 9, the Cubs swapped veteran shortstop André Rodgers — the first native Bahamian to play in the majors — to the Pirates for Peña and $20,000.

That winter, the Águilas claimed their first championship since 1952. Peña hit .289 with a club-high eight doubles and 22 runs scored during the regular season and batted .333 in the playoff finals. He also traveled to Caracas to represent his country in the Dominican Republic-Venezuela series. While there, he visited the hotel room of teammate Rico Carty, who had vowed to get even after Peña went after him with a bat when they were opponents at home. In describing the meeting years later, Carty said that afterward he and Peña became “like brothers.”18

During spring training 1965, the “Dominican Dandy” — Giants ace Juan Marichal — told reporters, “I know Roberto. He is my good friend. Roberto can play good shortstop… You watch, Roberto [is a] good fielder and last winter he hit good in winter baseball.”19 When Chicago acquired Peña, they assigned him to the roster of their Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate, prompting beat writer Jerome Holtzman to note, “The assumption, then, is that Peña isn’t far enough along in his development to contest for a major league berth.”20 Still, the Cubs invited him to camp to battle for the shortstop job. After toying with the idea, Chicago was reluctant to shift Gold Glove third baseman Ron Santo to the position. Jimmy Stewart, a surehanded 1964 rookie, couldn’t match Peña’s range or arm strength, and the club didn’t want to rush bonus baby Don Kessinger. “We want to take a good look at this kid Peña,” said manager Bob Kennedy.21

Peña arrived 10 days late owing to visa problems.22 But when the Cubs opened the 1965 season at Wrigley Field on April 12, he was in the lineup, batting second against the Cardinals. In a contest that was called because of darkness with the score tied, 10-10, after 11 innings, Peña muffed two pop-ups in 20-mph winds — leading to three unearned runs — and bobbled a grounder.23 He also homered into the right-field seats against future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson leading off the third inning; pulled a two-out, two-run double off reliever Jack Warner an inning later; and scored the tying run after singling versus Barney Schultz in the 11th. Following Peña’s 3-for-6, three-RBI, three-error performance, Kennedy remarked, “Looks like we’re going to have some excitement with this fellow… Can you think of anyone who created such excitement or had such a varied major league debut? Frankly, I can’t.”24 The next day, Peña took three-time All-Star Curt Simmons deep in the Cubs’ first victory of the season.

When Peña was on defense, Santo dispensed advice to the rookie from third base. “Bobby [Peña]’s a wonderful fellow but he doesn’t say much off the field. When we’re in a game, though, he’s very courteous and always thanking me. I’ve never known anyone like him,” Santo said. “He’s very high strung, and I can tell he’s hurting inside when he doesn’t do well. I can see it. He’s the kind of guy you have to help relax.”25

Following a 0-for-23 slump in late April, Peña’s batting average never surpassed .241. “I swing too early. I can’t wait,” he confessed.26 Hitting coach Lou Klein encouraged him to open his stance and reduce his stride. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of U.S troops landed in the Dominican Republic to ensure that conflict bordering on civil war didn’t result in another Caribbean Communist dictatorship like Cuba. In vain, Peña tried to contact his family almost daily, but he couldn’t reach them until August.27 “I think they’ve gone to the hills to visit relatives. I don’t even know which side they’re on,” he said.28 “Sure, I worry. What else can I do? It is bad there.”29 When the Cubs were on the road, Peña roomed with left fielder Billy Williams, who enjoyed the rookie’s portable phonograph.30 “[Peña’s] always talking about the pitchers and about his family,” Williams reported. “The situation in Santo Domingo has him worried. No question about that.”31 In Chicago, Peña lived by himself in a North Side hotel and ate most of his meals with a Dominican tavern owner.

Through June 9, Peña was batting .219 and leading the majors with 17 errors in 50 appearances. “My feet are wrong. I’m not always in the right position to put my glove down,” he said.32 Three years later, he explained, “I hurt my back and that hurt my fielding.”33 Klein observed, “Defensively, he left something to be desired. Most of all, with him at short, we weren’t getting the double play.”34 On June 10, Chicago demoted Peña to the (Double-A) Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs and called up Kessinger, who won two Gold Gloves as the Cubs shortstop over the next decade.

Peña wound up playing in the 1965 Texas League All-Star Game.35 Although he committed 24 miscues in his 89 games with the Spurs, he batted .325 and was voted onto Topps’s National Association Class AA West team.36 He rejoined the Cubs in September and grounded out as a pinch-hitter in his only appearance.

That offseason, with Dominican League play disrupted for the third time in five years, Peña played in a downsized, three-team version of the circuit.37 He was supposed to join the Cardenales de Lara in Venezuela but the paperwork required to exit his home country was delayed.38 Eventually, he made it to Venezuela and batted .269 in 21 contests with the Tigres de Aragua.39

In 1966, Peña started the season with the Cubs and saw action in six contests. On April 17 in Los Angeles, Chicago was shut out in his first start, but he doubled twice against Sandy Koufax. Five days later at Wrigley Field, Peña’s sixth-inning error led to the decisive unearned run in a 2-1 defeat to the Dodgers. He never played for the Cubs again. Peña was optioned to Tacoma of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he blasted a three-run, ninth-inning homer off Dick Joyce to beat Vancouver, 5-4, in early May.40 After batting just .235 in 50 contests, though, Peña was demoted to Double-A on June 22. Back with Dallas-Fort Worth, he hit .289 in 73 games.

On November 29, the San Diego Padres — then the Philadelphia Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate — acquired Peña in the minor league draft. At the time, he was helping the Águilas Cibaeñas claim another Dominican League championship: batting .290 with a team-best .365 on-base percentage in 50 games. Peña and his wife, the former Ana Cristina Sánchez, welcomed a daughter that offseason.41 In 1969, they would add a son.42

When Peña joined the PCL Padres in 1967, he arrived “with the reputation of being a sulker,” according to San Diego writer Paul Cour.43 For two months, Peña’s batting average lingered around .200, but he heated up in June and finished the season at .234 with six homers and 55 RBIs in 146 games.44 “He could have been 50 points higher. He hit the ball solid but wasn’t getting too many hits,” said Padres manager Bob Skinner.45 “He’d sacrifice himself all the time by hitting to right field to move the runner along. He’s a real thinking ball player… Never misses a sign and makes all the right moves.”46

Peña led the league’s shortstops in putouts and assists as the Padres won the East division and defeated Spokane in the PCL’s best-of-seven finals.47 “Peña was a leader,” said pitcher Jeff James. “They knock his shortstopping but all he does is make the play that gets you out of a tough inning.” Righthander Larry Colton added, “[Peña] can play. He’s a tough out at the plate, and he can make the plays to help you win.”48

The Phillies invited Peña to spring training in 1968 because of incumbent shortstop Bobby Wine’s back problems. Although Peña’s birth year was still listed as 1940, he actually turned 31 shortly after Opening Day. Journalist Ray W. Kelly noted, “He’s believed to be as old as he looks –not as he says.”49 Kelly also wrote, “Most of the time, Phillies shortstop Roberto Peña has the disposition of a bulldog in the middle of a meal.”50

Asked about Peña during camp, Philadelphia manager Gene Mauch said, “They tell me [Peña’s] 27, that he had the grey hair since he was 24. Well, for a while there, he was living four years in one year. They tell me he’s quieted down.” Regarding Peña’s play, Mauch remarked, “My first impression is that his arm is out of shape.”51 Phillies pitching coach Al Widmar had managed the Águilas Cibaeñas that winter — when Peña batted .264 in a league-leading 63 games. “He was the best in that league, and I think he can play up here,” Widmar said. “Don’t judge him too quickly. He has to stay in there to show what he can do. And once he realizes he’s a big leaguer, he’ll be even better.”52

Peña played his first eight games of the season in the PCL before the Phillies called him up on April 26 after deciding that rookie Don Money needed more minor-league experience. “I no go,” was reportedly Peña’s initial response, as he’d grown so fond of San Diego.53 By June 14 — when Mauch left the Phillies between games of a doubleheader after learning that he would be fired — Peña was batting only .205, but he had made the outgoing skipper a believer. “Peña plays the game a lot like Rubén Amaro did when he was a good player,” Mauch said. “He gives you a chance to put on any play offensively. He’s shown me a range, especially to his left, that I never dreamed he had.”54

Shortly after Skinner became Philadelphia’s new manager, he called Peña into his office, explaining, “He looked anxious out there — you know, tight. I just told him it was the same game we’d played on the coast. I wanted him to stop pressing and be himself.”55 Peña batted .313 with a team-high 13 RBIs in June.56 By season’s end, he appeared in 138 games to become the majors’ first regular shortstop from the Dominican Republic. Peña ranked second among National League shortstops in both errors (32) and double plays (93) but led his peers with a .260 batting average.

On October 14, 1968, Peña returned to the San Diego Padres — which had become a major-league franchise — as the 48th pick in the expansion draft. “Peña will do a good job for San Diego,” predicted Skinner. “He likes it there.”57 First, Peña batted .313 for the Águilas, scoring a Dominican League-leading 26 runs in 40 games. He also saved a woman’s life off the coast of Santo Domingo that winter. “An expert swimmer, Peña rescued the woman from a shark attack. Peña was unharmed but the woman was hospitalized with shark bites, abrasions and shock,” described The Sporting News.58

When the Padres played their first NL game on April 8, 1969, Peña batted second in the lineup and started at second base — his professional debut at the position. Fellow Dominican Rafael Robles, a 21-year-old making the jump from Class A, led off and played shortstop. After being hit by a pitch from Houston’s Don Wilson leading off the bottom of the sixth inning with the score tied, 1-1, Peña raced from first to home on Ollie Brown’s double and scored the eventual game-winning run with a headfirst dive.59

By early May, however, San Diego was seeking an experienced second baseman because of Peña’s difficulties turning double plays at his new position.60 When Peña made his first start of the season at shortstop on May 10 in St. Louis, he went 4-for-5 with a grand slam off Steve Carlton in the Padres’ 5-3 victory. All four of Peña’s career homers to that point had come against the Cardinals, prompting St. Louis skipper Red Schoendienst to call him “a righthanded Babe Ruth.”61

Overall, Peña batted .250 in 139 games playing all over the infield: 65 games at shortstop, 33 at second base, 27 at third and a dozen at first. Before Peña went home to the Dominican Republic, San Diego manager Preston Gómez met with him. “Third base is where Bobby has to play if he’s going to stay in the major leagues,” Gómez said. “He doesn’t have the range anymore to play shortstop. With his bat, he can stay around two or three more years as a third baseman or utilityman.”62

“They drafted me as a shortstop and have played me everywhere else,” Peña protested. “Shortstop always has been my position.”63 After batting .250 in 50 games to help the Águilas Cibaeñas reach the finals, Peña traveled to Caracas, Venezuela with the Dominican League champion Tigres del Licey as the Dominican Republic’s starting shortstop for his country’s first ever Caribbean Series appearance.64

In spring training 1970, though, Peña even volunteered to catch for Gómez’s Padres.65 Instead, he was traded to the Oakland A’s for first baseman Ramón Webster on March 24. In April, Peña started 15 consecutive games — including 10 straight at shortstop while Bert Campaneris was hobbled by a sprained ankle. Peña made only two pinch-hitting appearances during a 16-game stretch before he was traded again — to the first-year Milwaukee Brewers for second baseman John Donaldson on May 18. According to The Sporting News, a doctor had advised the A’s that bone chips in Peña’s elbow would inhibit the infielder’s throwing ability.66

Peña hit the first grand slam in Brewers’ history, on May 30, at County Stadium. Facing Detroit’s Les Cain with two outs in the bottom of the first, he drove a ball to deep right-center. As Tigers’ right fielder Al Kaline gloved the baseball, he was elbowed in chin by centerfielder Jim Northrup, causing the ball to pop loose. Peña circled the bases for an inside-the-park homer. Kaline left the field on a stretcher and was hospitalized overnight.67

After the Brewers shifted Ted Kubiak to second base on June 17, Peña started 95 of the club’s last 102 contests at shortstop and said, “Tell [Oakland owner] Charlie [Finley that I thank him. He did me the biggest favor of my life.”68 Overall, Peña appeared in a career-high 140 games in 1970 and led American League shortstops with a .979 fielding percentage. “I’ve managed against Peña on five teams, and I couldn’t stand him,” said Milwaukee manager Dave Bristol. “He always seemed to make the play that would beat us. But you never know a guy until he plays for you. He’s a valuable asset to our club and has really given us stability in the infield.”69

Although some resources indicate that Peña was nicknamed “Baby”, that probably stems from his misspelling Bobby — B-A-B-I — on a 1965 questionnaire.70 “Everyone called him “Bobby” when he was my teammate at Milwaukee in 1970,” recalled pitcher Dave Baldwin. “I didn’t hear anyone call him “Baby.”71

Peña had become a fulltime resident of Santiago, the Dominican province that the Águilas Cibaeñas called home. That winter, he batted .262 in 41 games, but the team missed the playoffs. In October, he helped the Brewers sign an 18-year-old pitcher from Santiago; Bill Castro, who debuted for Milwaukee in 1974 and spent a decade in the majors.72 “[Peña] commands an awful lot of respect down in the Dominican Republic,” remarked Bristol. “He’s done a real good job scouting.”73

In 1971, Peña arrived late to spring training because his wife had contracted typhoid fever.74 He was the Brewers’ Opening Day shortstop but started only three games at that position after April 27. According to beat reporter Larry Whiteside, the 34-year-old Peña’s declining range and doubts about his listed age (31) contributed to the club’s decision to give rookie shortstop Rick Auerbach an extended opportunity.75 Most of Peña’s 62 starts that season came at first or third base. “He’s a winner who never quits trying,” said Bristol. “Peña can play any infield or outfield position for me. He could catch if he had to. He could even pitch, too — matter of fact, he’d love that.”76 On June 21, Peña stroked a game-tying single against California’s Rudy May in the bottom of the ninth, and singled again in the 10th against reliever Dave LaRoche to deliver a walk off victory. Overall, he batted .237 with three homers in his last 113 major league games. Peña finished his six-year big-league career batting .245 with 13 homers in 587 contests.

After a lone Dominican League campaign with the Estrellas Orientales, Peña spent 1972 playing shortstop for the Alijadores de Tampico of the Mexican League. In 138 games, he batted .345 with 17 homers, 91 RBIs and scored 98 runs. With the same team in 1973, he hit .331 in 125 games. In between, Peña returned to the Águilas Cibaeñas in the winter of 1972-73 for his final Dominican League action. After going 1-for-20 in the regular season, he notched one hit in two playoff at-bats. He finished his career in his native country’s circuit with a .270 batting average in 492 games, plus a .275 mark in 61 playoff appearances. The Águilas later retired his uniform number 9.77

Peña’s professional playing career ended in the Mexican League in 1974. In 132 games with the Leones de Yucatán, he batted .273 with five homers. From 1975-1977, he was a minor-league instructor and scout in the Brewers’ organization. Peña managed the Águilas Cibaeñas for part of the 1977-78 campaign before joining the club’s coaching staff.

Roberto Peña was only 45 when he died on July 23, 1982, in Santiago — from “accidental alcohol poisoning” according to Frank Russo’s The Deadball Era website.78 A 2020 article by Dominican baseball historian Héctor J. Cruz named cirrhosis of the liver as the cause of death.79 Details of Peña’s interment are not available.

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Gregory H. Wolf and Rory Costello and fact-checked by Kevin Larkin,

 

Sources

All Dominican League statistics from https://stats.winterballdata.com/home (subscription service)

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

 

Notes

1 For example, all of Roberto Peña’s Topps baseball cards issued while he was active list 1940 as his birth year, but the corrected 1937 date appears on his 1994 Miller Brewing Company Milwaukee Brewers card.

2 Jerome Holtzman, “Polite Peña Grateful for Santo’s Tips,” The Sporting News, June 19, 1965: 18.

3 Roberto Peña, International League Baseball Writers Questionnaire, 1960. On a January 7, 1967, publicity questionnaire that Peña filled out for William J. Weiss, he named the Juan Pablo Duarte school instead.

4 Peña, International League Baseball Writers Questionnaire.

5 Allen Lewis, “Faltering Peña Hits Hot Bat Clip Under Phils’ Pilot Skinner,” The Sporting News, July 28, 1968: 17.

6 Shortly before the Games’ opening parade, Noble Antonio Vassalo Fernández — the only wrestler in the Dominican Republic’s 87-athlete delegation — slipped past Trujillo’s armed guards to seek asylum. “Athlete Seeks Asylum in U.S.” Pittsburgh Press, August 30, 1959: 72. The country’s flagbearer, Breno Brenes, was an outfielder who signed with the San Francisco Giants, but bursitis prevented him from appearing in any professional games. Brenes became a famed anti-Trujillo militant in his homeland. “El Pasado del MPD en Voces de Ex Dirigentes,” Hoy (New York, New York), June 20, 2009, https://hoy.com.do/el-pasado-del-mpdenvocesde-ex-dirigentes/ (last accessed September 6, 2021).

7 Lewis, “Faltering Peña Hits Hot Bat Clip Under Phils’ Pilot Skinner.”

8 Rory Costello and Jim Sandoval, “Howie Haak,” https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/howie-haak/ (last accessed September 22, 2021).

9 Roberto Peña’s Dominican League statistics from https://stats.winterballdata.com/players?key=3220 (subscription service. Last accessed September 6, 2021).

10 Roberto Peña, 1970 Topps baseball card.

11 “Hobbs Takes Soph Pennant,” The Sporting News, September 14, 1960: 47.

12 Roberto Peña, 1966 Topps baseball card.

13 “Three I Picks Tommy Harper and Bob Locker for Awards,” The Sporting News, September 6, 1961: 29.

14 “Dominican Landies,” The Sporting News, November 22, 1961: 24.

15 Jimmy Jordan, “Two Pirate Farm Stars Break Legs,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 8, 1962: 20.

16 “International League,” The Sporting News, May 9, 1964: 32.

17 Jerry Liska, “Rookie Peña Making Splash with Chicago,” Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph, April 14, 1965: 39.

18 United Press International, “Carty Will Take Rematch Vs. Blasingame Anywhere,” Progress Bulletin (Pomona, California), July 1, 1969: 20.

19 James Enright, “Marichal Lauds Pal Peña, Infielder Bruins Acquired,” The Sporting News, March 13, 1965: 7.

20 Jerome Holtzman, “Cubs Will Gamble –Try Out Greenhorns as Keystone Combo,” The Sporting News, December 26, 1964: 12.

21 Jerome Holtzman, “Greenies Peña and Beckert Form Cub Keystone Combo,” The Sporting News, April 17, 1965: 38.

22 James Enright, “Bruin Briefs,” The Sporting News, March 27, 1965: 23.

23 Jerome Holtzman, “Bruins Hoist Storm Signal Over Peña’s Booming Bludgeon,” The Sporting News, April 24, 1965: 29.

24 Holtzman, “Bruins Hoist Storm Signal Over Peña’s Booming Bludgeon.”

25 Jerome Holtzman, “Polite Peña Grateful for Santo’s Tips,” The Sporting News, June 19, 1965: 18.

26 Holtzman, “Polite Peña Grateful for Santo’s Tips.”

27 Lewis, “Faltering Peña Hits Hot Bat Clip Under Phils’ Pilot Skinner.”

28 “Former Bee Future Star,” Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner, June 13, 1965: 25.

29 Holtzman, “Polite Peña Grateful for Santo’s Tips.”

30 Jerome Holtzman, “Bruin Briefs,” The Sporting News, May 22, 1965: 18.

31 Holtzman, “Polite Peña Grateful for Santo’s Tips.”

32 Holtzman, “Polite Peña Grateful for Santo’s Tips.”

33 Allen Lewis, “Peña Solving Phil Problem at Shortstop,” The Sporting News, June 8, 1968: 10.

34 Edgar Munzel, “.200 Swinging Keystone Duo Please Bruins,” The Sporting News, September 18, 1965: 11.

35 “Spurs and Braves Land 4 All-Star Berths Apiece,” The Sporting News, July 17, 1965: 47.

36 “Oklahoma City, Pittsfield Top All-Star Teams,” The Sporting News, November 27, 1965: 26.

37 Fernando A. Vicioso, “Manny’s Bat Cuts Mighty Wide Swath,” The Sporting News, December 24, 1965: 34.

38 Eduardo Moncada, “Venezuelan Vitamins,” The Sporting News, November 13, 1965: 29.

39 Roberto Peña’s Venezuelan League statistics are from https://www.pelotabinaria.com.ve/beisbol/mostrar.php?ID=peñarob001 (last accessed September 11, 2021).

40 “Last-Ditch Homers Spell Doom to Mountie Hurler,” The Sporting News, May 28, 1966: 40.

41 Roberto Peña, Publicity Questionnaire for William J. Weiss, January 7, 1967.

42 Paul Cour, “Padre Pickups,” The Sporting News, August 2, 1969: 20.

43 Paul Cour, “Peña Makes Cousin Cards Tremble,” The Sporting News, May 31, 1969: 21.

44 “Pacific Coast League,” The Sporting News, July 15, 1967: 50.

45 Lewis, “Faltering Peña Hits Hot Bat Clip Under Phils’ Pilot Skinner.”

46 Paul Cour, “Peña Rejoining First Love — Padres,” The Sporting News, January 18, 1969: 40.

47 Roberto Peña, 1969 Topps baseball card.

48 Lewis, “Peña Solving Phil Problem at Shortstop.”

49 Ray W. Kelly, “Phils Lose Sutherland, Jackson, Peña, Gonzalez,” Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, New Jersey), October 15, 1968: 28.

50 Ray W. Kelly, “Short, Peña Dump Mets,” Courier-Post, July 6, 1968: 18.

51 Bill Conlin, “Count Peña in Phils Shortstop Derby,” Philadelphia Daily News, March 20, 1968: 52.

52 Lewis, “Peña Solving Phil Problem at Shortstop.”

53 Cour, “Peña Rejoining First Love — Padres.”

54 Lewis, “Peña Solving Phil Problem at Shortstop.”

55 Lewis, “Faltering Peña Hits Hot Bat Clip Under Phils’ Pilot Skinner.”

56 Allen Lewis, “Phils Look Ahead ­–Put Briggs on First,” The Sporting News, July 20, 1968: 10.

57 Cour, “Peña Rejoining First Love — Padres.”

58 Paul Cour, “Padres Praise Gonzalez’ Strong Bat,” The Sporting News, February 8, 1969: 32.

59 Paul Cour, “After 33 Years in Wings, San Diego on Majors’ Stage,” The Sporting News, April 26, 1969: 8.

60 Paul Cour, “Padre Pickups,” The Sporting News, May 17, 1969: 18.

61 Cour, “Peña Makes Cousin Cards Tremble.”

62 Paul Cour, “Padres Want Peña to Review Third Base Catechism,” The Sporting News, November 22, 1969: 44.

63 Cour, “Padres Want Peña to Review Third Base Catechism.”

64 Cuqui Córdova, “Béisbol de Ayer: Teodoro Martínez,” Listin Diario (Dominican Republic), February 19, 2011, https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/2011/02/19/178067/teodoro-martinez (last accessed September 11, 2021).

65 Paul Cour, “Padre Pickups,” The Sporting News, March 28, 1970: 18.

66 Ron Bergman, “Green and Anderson in A’s Midway Match,” The Sporting News, November 21, 1970: 48.

67 Watson Spoelstra, “Kaline ‘Lucky’ to Escape Serious Injury in Crash,” The Sporting News, June 13, 1970: 31.

68 Bergman, “Green and Anderson in A’s Midway Match.”

69 Larry Whiteside, “Peña Glove is Brewers’ Rare Jewel,” The Sporting News, September 19, 1970: 37.

70 Roberto Peña, Publicity Questionnaire for William J. Weiss, February 15, 1965.

71 Dave Baldwin, E-mail to Malcolm Allen, March 2, 2008.

72 Cuqui Córdova, “Béisbol de Ayer,” Listin Diario, April 25, 2008, https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/2008/4/25/56588/print (last accessed September 12, 2021).

73 Associated Press, “Brewers Win, 3-2 on Peña’s Key Hits,” Waukesha (Wisconsin) Daily Freeman, June 22, 1971: 10.

74 Larry Whiteside, “Brewer Barrels,” The Sporting News, March 13, 1971: 46.

75 Larry Whiteside, “Brewers Put Big Bet on SS Auerbach,” The Sporting News, June 19, 1971: 22.

76 Associated Press, “Brewers Win, 3-2 on Peña’s Key Hits.”

77 Horacio Nolasco, “Jugadores Con Números Retirados en el Invierno,” http://elpapadelbeisbol.com/jugadores-con-numeros-retirados-en-el-invierno (last accessed August 21, 2021).

78 Frank Russo, “Accidents: Baseball Notables Who Died by Way of Accidents,” https://www.thedeadballera.com/accidents.html (last accessed September 12, 2021).

79 Hector J. Cruz, “Roberto Peña, México y Lidom (2 de 2), Listin Diario, May 11, 2020, https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/2020/05/11/616914/roberto-peña-mexico-y-lidom-2-de-2 (last accessed August 21, 2021).

Full Name

Roberto Cesar Pena

Born

April 17, 1937 at Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional (D.R.)

Died

July 23, 1982 at Santiago, Santiago (D.R.)

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