Wednesday, November 13, 2013

IN MEMORIAM- PART IX: MIGUEL FUENTES

The last player to throw a pitch for the short-lived Seattle Pilots franchise was a young 23 year old from Puerto Rico named Miguel Fuentes.
Called up in September of 1969, he managed to get into a few of the last games played by the Pilots, as no one knew that the franchise wouldn't make it out of Spring training the following year.
They abruptly moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers just five days before opening day, 1970.
Sadly, no one was to also know that Fuentes would never see a game as a Brewer, or a Major Leaguer for that matter, because of tragedy.
During the off-season back home in Puerto Rico, Fuentes was playing for Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League.
While there, on January 29th, he was involved in a bar fight, where he was shot and killed.
With cards already in production, what was to be his rookie card was issued along with the rest of Topps' 1970 set, showing Fuentes along with another Seattle pitching prospect, Dick Baney.
Sad to see a player who was considered one of the top prospects in that organization cut down at such a young age.
All told, Fuentes appeared in eight games for the Pilots, good for 26 innings. His final record was 1-3 with a 5.19 E.R.A.
Sadly it seems the 1970's had an inordinate amount of young players passing away during their playing days.
As usual I've added the memoriam stripe along the bottom of his photo, as I have done with the other subjects of this thread.
 
May 10, 1946 - January 29, 1970.
 

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