Sunday, December 9, 2012
#214 Marcelino Solis
Marcelino Solis, a native of Mexico, spent 13 seasons playing professional baseball. nearly all of that time came in the Mexican League and in the Cubs farm system. A lefty starter, he was drafted and signed by the Cubs in December of 1957 as a 26 year old with a very uneven record at several levels of Mexican baseball.
He spent the 1958 season with the Cubs' AA club in Fort Worth and went 15-2, a mark that had to surprise Cub officials given that he had never shown anything approaching that skill level. That led to a half season in Chicago in 1958 where he went 3-3 in 15 games including four starts. With a ERA over 6.00 it's not particularly surprising that he never again pitched in the big league.
He pitched in the Cubs' (and briefly the Giants') system and in Mexico until 1963. He died in 2001.
A couple of thing that struck me. 'Marcelino' isn't all that common a name. I've been at a heavily Hispanic school for 25 years and can't recall a single 'Marcelino'. But I do know of one other in baseball. Marcelino Lopez was one of my favorite players from the Orioles 'glory days' of three straight World Series trips. He was a Cuban-born middle reliever and spot starter who had a small but boisterous fan club that invaded Yankee Stadium when the O's were in town. The little group carried a banner all around the stadium, seemingly never sitting down in their seats.
And check out the write-up on the back of this card. Topps calls him "the amazing Mr. Solis". Yes he had a nice '58 season but I think the copywriter was just filling space.
And finally... there is even less info on Solis on the web than I thought. Just page after page of the usual junk links to stat sites that mooch off Baseball Reference and link to eBay listing of this card. But I did find a pretty neat picture of him in his Ft. Worth Cats gear and bearing a serious resemblance to the uber creepy Henry Silva from the original Manchurian Candidate. Enjoy.