1960s Baseball
Celebrating the players and teams that helped make the 1960s "Baseball's Real Golden Age"
Player Profile - Pedro Ramos

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Better Late Than Starting

“Workhorse” accurately but barely describes the impact of Pedro Ramos as a pitcher in the early 1960s. Toiling for the American League’s worst pre-expansion franchise, he lost more games from 1958 through 1961 than any other hurler in major league baseball. And after spending the first 9 years of his career as a starter, he suddenly converted – at age 29 – into a reliever, and one of the most effective – even spectacular – closers of the 1960s.Pedro Ramos

Ramos the starter was too good to be kept out of the starting rotation, and not good enough to overcome the weak hitting and fielding of the teams behind him. The Cuban-born Ramos was signed by the Washington Senators in 1953. After only 2 years of minor league seasoning, the pitching-strapped Senators brought the 20-year-old right-hander north with the team as its ace reliever. In 1955, he led the Senators with 45 appearances and 5 saves, going 5-11 with a 3.88 ERA. He went 12-10 in 1956, and beginning in 1957 (when he was 12-16), Ramos was primarily a starter who occasionally pitched in relief.

He led the last-place Senators in wins in 1958, and led the league in losses, going 14-18 with a 4.23 ERA. He also led the league in home runs allowed for the second consecutive season, something he would do 3 times in his career. He went 13-19, 11-18 and 11-20 over the next 3 seasons, leading the league in losses each year … and in games started twice.

Just prior to the opening of the 1962 season, Ramos was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Vic Power and Dick Stigman. He was 10-12 for the Indians in 1962 and 9-8 in 1963. Then in 1964, he was 7-10 for the Tribe through August when he was traded to the New York Yankees for 2 players to be named later (eventually they turned out to be Ralph Terry and Bud Daley). In Yankee pinstripes, he suddenly became the most dominating relief pitcher in baseball. In the last month of the 1964 season, Ramos appeared in 13 games, winning one game and saving 8 with a 1.25 ERA. He struck out 21 batters (and walked none) in 21.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately, because he was acquired by the Yankees after August 31, he was not eligible to participate in the 1964 World Series.

Ramos appeared in 65 games for the Yankees in 1965, all in relief. He continued to excel as a reliever, going 5-5 with a 2.92 ERA and 19 saves while finishing 42 games. He went 3-9 with 13 saves and a 3.61 ERA in 1966, his last season with the Yankees. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he registered no decisions in 6 appearances in 1967.

After spending 1968 in the minors, Ramos went 4-4 with the Pirates and Reds in 1969. He appeared in 4 games with the Senators in 1970 before retiring.

In 15 big league seasons, Ramos went 117-160 with a career earned run average of 4.08. He was an All-Star in 1959.

Looking for Pedro Ramos’ stats? In Hardball Bob's opinion, the best source for online statistics is Baseball-Reference.com. For Pete’s career stats, go here.

1960s Baseball … Great Players, Great Teams, Great Stories.

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