Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dominican Baseball Card #9: Tony Pena

The 9th edition of the Dominican Baseball Guy's Dominican Baseball Card is a Tony Pena 1988 Fleer #45.  I really like the cheese factor of this set from Fleer.  The white borders are hideously great.  Guess this was the 80s cheese factor making its way onto the baseball cards.  Tony has a great mustache too, and according to, next month is the month of the mustache.

Tony had a great career that spanned 18 MLB seasons.  He came up with the Pirates and went on to play with the Cardinals, Red Sox, and Indians.  And he split 40 games between the White Sox and Astros in his last season, so the Dominican Baseball Guy guesses we have to count those teams too.  Tony was known for his defense behind the plate.  He won 4 gold gloves and made 5 All-Star teams.  He made it to the World Series with the Cardinals in 1987, losing to the Twins.  

Tony also had a long career in the Dominican Winter Baseball League, playing late into his career with his original team, the Aguilas from Sanitago.  The Dominican Baseball Guy could not find any statistics on his career in the DWL, but he played for more than ten years and won several titles with the Aguilas.

Tony went strait into coaching after his career was over, as many catchers do.  He has managed the Aguilas for several years, winning  DWL in 1998, 2000, and 2001, and a Caribbean Series Championship with the team in 2001.  He even showed up for the second half of last season, as the Aguilas were playing bad and fired their American manager, bringing in Pena to finish the season.  He spent 2002-2005 as the Royals manager and won the AL manager of the year in 2003, taking the Royals to 3rd place finish in the AL, unheard of for the Royals.  He has been the Yankees bench coach for two years, winning a World Series title last year, and still in the hunt of the ALCS this year.  Tony is from Monte Criti, Dominican Republic.  His son Tony Jr. pitched in the DWL last year (as the Dominican Baseball Guy blogged) and his other son, Francisco, is in the Mets organization.

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