Ruben Gomez Colon
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Ruben Gomez, 77, who won 76 games in 10 major league seasons, died Monday, July 26, 2004. His career numbers include a 76-86 record and a 4.09 ERA in 1,454 innings pitched.
In 1954, he finished with a 17-9 record for the Giants team that beat Cleveland in the World Series. Gomez pitched one game in the series, picking up a win and striking out two Indians batters. The feat made Gomez the first man born in Puerto Rico to win a game in a World Series.
Gomez was the starting pitcher for the Giants when the team faced off against the Dodgers on April 15, 1958. Gomez was the winning pitcher in the 8-0 victory -- the first major league baseball game played on the West Coast.
According to reports, Gomez created some controversy during his rookie season in 1953 when, on the order of Giants manager Leo Durocher, he hit Dodgers player Carl Furillo with a pitch. Following the pitch, Furillo, who was leading the National League with a .344 average, charged into the Giants' dugout after Durocher and ended up with a broken hand.
Gomez would hit other notables with pitches in his career including Joe Adcock (he threw the ball at Adcock while Adcock was charging the mound) and Frank Robinson (who ended up in the hospital after the beaning).
He pitched for the Giants from 1953 until 1958 when, that December, he was traded along with Valmy Thomas to the Phillies for Jack Stanford. It ended up being a bad trade for the Phillies as Stanford won 24 games for the Giants in 1959 and helped San Francisco win the pennant. Gomez, in contrast, was 3-8 that season in 72.1 innings with a 6.10 ERA.
Gomez pitched again for the Phillies in 1960 and was out of the major leagues in 1961. He returned in 1962 to pitch for both Cleveland and Minnesota.
He was 39 years old in 1967 and pitching for Veracruz of the Mexican League when he got another shot in the major leagues with the Philles. He pitched 11.1 innings that season in seven games.
Sources: MLB.com, Associated Press