Born: Dec. 28, 1947 in Cananea, Mexico
Died: Sept. 23, 2000 in Detroit
Debut: 1967 | Pos: 3B
H: 5-10 | W: 180 | B: R | T: R
>> Visit the Aurelio Rodriguez biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
Aurielo Rodriguez, who spent much of his career with the Detroit Tigers, died on Sept. 23, 2000 in Detroit, after he was struck by a car while walking on a sidewalk. He was 52 years old.
Rodriguez and another person were walking when a car lost control, jumped the curb and struck them before hitting a utility pole.
Rodriguez was born in Mexico and broke into the Major Leagues with California in 1967. In early 1970, the Angels sent him to the Senators where he played out the season. Prior to the 1971 season, the Senators traded him to Detroit, along with SS Ed Brinkman and pitchers Joe Coleman and Jim Hannan, for pitcher Denny McLain, 3B Don Wert and OF Norm McRae and Elliott Maddox.
He was praised for his defensive skills throughout his career and in 1975 he won the AL Gold Glove for third base.
Sparky Anderson was Rodriguez's
manager in 1979, the player's last year in Detroit.
"He probably had as good a pair of hands on him as anybody, and a great arm -- the only two arms I've ever seen like that, (Travis) Fryman and him," Anderson was quoted as saying in a wire report. "This guy was a great third baseman."
He played for Detroit in the 1972 playoffs against Oakland and he went hitless in 16 at-bats. With the Yankees in 1981, he hit .417 (5 hits in 12 at-bats) in the World Series.
Rodriguez last played in the Major Leagues in 1983 and continued to play in the Mexican League until the late 1980s. After coaching briefly in the Indians' farm system, he returned to the Mexican League to serve as a manager in the mid-1990s.
Source: Associated Press obituary, Total Baseball