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Luis Sojo
Infielder
Born: January 3, 1966 (1966-01-03) (age 44)
Petare, Miranda State, Venezuela
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
July 14, 1990 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2003 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average     .261
Hits     671
Home runs     36
Teams

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards

Luis Beltrán Sojo Sojo (Spanish pronunciation: [lwis belˈtɾan ˈsoxo], SOE-ho) (born January 3, 1966 in Petare, Miranda State, Venezuela) is a former Major League Baseball infielder and right-handed batter who played with the Toronto Blue Jays (1990, 1993), California Angels (1991-1992), Seattle Mariners (1994-1996), New York Yankees (1996-2001, 2003) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2000). He is also the current manager of the Cardenales de Lara, of the Venzuelan Winter League, in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

In his career, Sojo filled a role as a utility infielder for the Blue Jays, Angels, Mariners, Pirates and, most notably, for the Yankees. He is regarded by many sportwriters and Yankees fans as one of the most important and best reserve players in the team's history.

Not classically athletic, he was a natural shortstop in the minors, but took on an expanded role in emergency situations, initially and most commonly as a second baseman, and eventually as a third baseman, first baseman and left fielder as well.

Sojo had limited power and did not draw many walks, but he was a good contact hitter, especially for someone who made a habit of falling behind in the count during his minor league tenure. He did show an ability to put the ball in play with a low strikeout rate (one for 13 at-bats). Some of his great contributions came when going to the opposite field in hit and run situations and with infield hits. An avid bunter, he led the league in sacrificial hits in 1991 (21). Though not a threat as a base stealer, he was a competent base runner. In the field, Sojo had a good range and a good arm, showing quick hands and slick moves.

In October 2000, Sojo turned from a role player to a World Series hero in the decisive Game 5 of the Subway Series against the New York Mets. With the score tied at two in the ninth inning and two outs, Sojo delivered a two-RBI single against Al Leiter. The Yankees won their 26th World Series, third consecutive, fourth in the Joe Torre era, and Sojo obtained his fifth series ring, 4 with New York and one with the Blue Jays.

In 2002, Sojo failed to earn a spot on the Yankees roster, and retired from playing Major League Baseball. He then made his managerial debut with the Yankees Double A affiliate Norwich Navigators, and led the team to its first Eastern League Championship.

2003 was a unique year for Sojo. Having left the Navigators for a position as a Yankees coach, Sojo was invited to the Yankees Old Timers game, where he hit the game-winning home run off Ron Guidry. Later that season, the Yankees resigned him as an active player, and he appeared in three games to conclude the season. He may be the only Yankee (or overall player) in history to play in an Old Timers Game and later a regular season game in the same year.

In 13 seasons, Sojo batted .261 (671-for-2571) with 36 home runs, 261 RBI, 300 runs, 103 doubles, 12 triples, and 28 stolen bases in 848 games.

He served as manager for the Class A Advanced Tampa Yankees from 2006-2009, before being relieved on Feb. 2, 2010.[1] Sojo also managed the Venezuelan national baseball team in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.

When registering for hotel stays, Sojo used the alias Harry Pelotas to avoid unwanted fan attention. "Pelotas" is Spanish for "balls" [1].

Highlights

  • Hit a two-outs bases-clearing broken-bat double against California Angels Mark Langston to lead Seattle to its very first AL West division title, with four runs scoring on the play: Sojo took third on the throw to the plate, and scored after the Langston's frustrated relay ended up in the backstop (1995)
  • Hit .400 with one RBI in 10 post-season games [.800 in the WS] (1996)
  • Batted a career-high .307 in his first full season as a Yankee (1997)
  • Tied for second on the team with nine RBI in 15 post-season games (2000)
  • Drove in the World Series winning run (2000)
  • Became the first person ever to manage a minor league team to a championship and later resume his Major League career.
  • Five batting titles in the Venezuelan Winter League (.351, 1989-90; .362, 1990-91; .375, 1993-94; .376, 1994-95; .346, 1999-2000)
  • Was called 'The best .200 hitter ever" by Yankees radio announcer John Sterling
  • Reached 1000 hits on Dec. 14/15th (around midnight) in the Venezeulan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) with his team, Cardenales de Lara.

References

  1. ^ http://riverdogs.com/news/headlines/index.html?article_id=2064

External links








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