Carlos Peña

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Carlos Peña
Carlos Pena Rays.jpg
Peña with the Tampa Bay Rays
First baseman
Born: (1978-05-17) May 17, 1978 (age 41)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Batted: LeftThrew: Left
MLB debut
September 5, 2001, for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
July 12, 2014, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Batting average .232
Home runs 286
Runs batted in 818
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Carlos Felipe Peña (born May 17, 1978) is a Dominican former professional baseball first baseman. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Rays, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals.

Baseball team sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing it to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

First baseman defensive position in baseball and softball, played on the far right side of the infield at or near first base

First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner to score a run for that player's team. A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base, and is responsible for the majority of plays made at that base. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the first baseman is assigned the number 3.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the major league clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

Contents

Although he was born in Santo Domingo and his family is from San Francisco de Macorís, he spent a significant portion of his childhood in the United States. He is portrayed in the film Moneyball by actor Adrian Bellani.

San Francisco de Macorís Place in Duarte, Dominican Republic

San Francisco de Macorís is a city in the Dominican Republic located in the northeast portion of the island, in the Cibao region. It is the capital of the Duarte Province, and the sixth most populated city in the country. It is also known as the Land of Cacao .The name San Francisco de Macorís comes from a fusion of the name of Saint Francis, patron saint of the Franciscan Order and the territory's old name, which is Macorix.

<i>Moneyball</i> (film) 2011 American biographical sports drama film directed by Bennett Miller

Moneyball is a 2011 U.S. sports film directed by Bennett Miller and written by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. The film is based on Michael Lewis's 2003 nonfiction book of the same name, an account of the Oakland Athletics baseball team's 2002 season and their general manager Billy Beane's attempts to assemble a competitive team.

Gerardo Celasco, better known as Adrian Bellani, is an American actor. He was the second actor to play the role of Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald on the NBC daytime drama, Passions.

Early life

Peña is the oldest of four children born to Felipe and Juana Marisela Peña. The family moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic when Peña was 12, initially living with one of his uncles.

He graduated from Haverhill High School in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1995. Peña initially went to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, but returned home after one quarter and attended Northeastern University, where he studied electrical engineering. As a collegiate player, he competed in the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), which showcases top amateur prospects every summer. He was a member of the Harwich Mariners in 1996 and the Wareham Gatemen in 1997. [1] In 1997 he was named CCBL league MVP and was inducted into the CCBL hall of fame in 2003. [2] During his time at Northeastern, Peña led the Huskies to one NCAA tournament. Peña's career batting average at Northeastern was .324 and he finished with 24 home runs in two seasons. [3]

Haverhill High School

Haverhill High School is an American high school in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It enrolls about 2,200 students in grades 9 through 12. The school offers a variety of Advanced Placement classes, a wide range of clubs, a number of varsity and junior varsity sports, as well as a program entitled the "Classical Academy". The Classical Academy is a school-within-a-school program and has a prescribed curriculum. It offers a rigorous curriculum consisting of entirely honors and AP classes. The Classical Academy is currently underway in its fifth year, and will be offered to future students via a test. The school also offers other services. The campus includes the Charles C. White Swimming Pool, the Manuel Epstein Library Media Center HHS/LMC and the Veterans' Memorial Skating Rink. At the school's entrance is a replica of one of the famous statues by Michelangelo in Tomb of Leorenzo De' Medici, affectionately nicknamed "The Thinker".

Haverhill, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Haverhill is a historic city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. Haverhill is located 35 miles north of Boston on the New Hampshire border and about 17 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The population was 60,879 at the 2010 census.

Wright State University public research university located near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio, United States

Wright State University is a public research university in Dayton, Ohio, United States, with an additional branch campus located on Grand Lake St. Marys. Originally operating itself as a branch campus, Wright State became an independent institution in 1967 and was named in honor of the aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, who were residents of nearby Dayton. The university offers degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level.

Professional career

Texas Rangers

In 1998, Peña was selected in the first round (tenth overall) by the Texas Rangers in the Major League Baseball draft.

Texas Rangers (baseball) Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Arlington, Texas, United States

The Texas Rangers are an American professional baseball team based in Arlington, Texas, located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Rangers franchise currently competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) West division. Since 1994, the Rangers have played in Globe Life Park in Arlington. The team's name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name.

Major League Baseball draft primary draft by Major League Baseball teams to assign amateur players

The first-year player draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. The most recent draft was held on June 3-5, 2019.

Peña played for three different Rangers affiliates in 1998. Prior to the 1999 season, Peña was named by Baseball America as the 93rd prospect in their top 100 prospects list. In 1999, Peña played for the Charlotte Rangers, the Rangers Advanced Single-A team. He batted .255 with 18 home runs in 138 games.

Baseball America is a sports magazine that covers baseball at every level, with a particular focus on up-and-coming players in high school, college, Japan, and the minor leagues. It is currently published in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper, five annual reference book titles, a weekly podcast, and a website. It also regularly produces lists of the top prospects in the sport, and covers aspects of the game from a scouting and player-development point of view. The publication's motto is "Baseball news you can't find anywhere else."

The Charlotte Rangers, based in Port Charlotte, Florida, were an American minor league baseball team that existed from 1987 through 2002. The team played at Charlotte County Stadium as a Class A Florida State League affiliate of the Texas Rangers, who at the time made their spring training base in Port Charlotte.

Home run in baseball, a 4-base hit, often by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles without 1st touching the ground; inside-the-park home runs—where the batter reaches home safely while the ball is in play—are possible but rare

In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle the bases and reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process. In modern baseball, the feat is typically achieved by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles without first touching the ground, resulting in an automatic home run. There is also the "inside-the-park" home run where the batter reaches home safely while the baseball is in play on the field. A home run with a high exit velocity and good launch angle is sometimes called a "no-doubter," because it leaves no doubt that it is going to leave the park when it leaves the bat.

Peña was promoted to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in 2000, where he batted .299 with 28 home runs and 105 RBIs in 138 games.

The Tulsa Drillers are a minor league baseball team based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The team, which plays in the Texas League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers major-league club.

Peña appeared in Baseball America's top 100 prospect list in 2001, this time at number eleven and was the Rangers' top prospect. He advanced another level in 2001, this time playing for the Oklahoma Redhawks, the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate. He played in 119 games for the Redhawks, in which he batted .288 with 23 home runs and 74 RBIs. Peña was also a Triple-A All-Star in 2001.

Following the 2001 minor league season, the Rangers called him up to the big leagues during September, when rosters expanded. Peña made his Major League debut on September 5, starting at first base, wearing number 15, and going hitless in three at-bats. [4] Peña finished the 2001 season with a .258 batting average and three home runs in 22 games played. [5]

Oakland Athletics

On January 14, 2002, along with Mike Venafro, Peña was traded to the Oakland Athletics by the Rangers for Jason Hart, Gerald Laird, Ryan Ludwick, and Mario Ramos.

In 40 games with the A's, Peña hit .218 with 7 home runs and 16 RBIs. [5] During a stint with Triple-A Sacramento from July 2–5, he hit .438 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs.

Peña was mentioned several times in Michael Lewis' book Moneyball and was a minor character in the film based on the book.

Detroit Tigers

Peña was involved in a three team deal on July 6, 2002. The Athletics sent Peña, a player to be named later (later named as Jeremy Bonderman), and Franklyn Germán to the Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees sent Ted Lilly, John-Ford Griffin, and Jason Arnold to the Athletics. The Tigers sent Jeff Weaver to the Yankees and cash to the Athletics.

The Tigers acquired Peña due to a season-ending injury to designated hitter Dmitri Young [ citation needed ] and the first baseman at the time of the trade for the Tigers, Randall Simon, immediately became the Tigers' designated hitter following Peña's acquisition.

Peña made his Tigers' debut the next day against the Boston Red Sox, as he went 3–4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs. Peña played in 75 games for the Tigers in 2002 and batted .253 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs. Overall, he batted .242 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs in 115 games. [5] His 2002 season included a 12-game hitting streak from September 8–21, which tied teammate Omar Infante for the longest hitting streak for an American League rookie in 2002.

Peña played in his first full season in 2003 as the Tigers' everyday first baseman. On May 19, against the Cleveland Indians, he established career highs with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs. Peña also missed nearly a month in June when he suffered a left calf strain. He played in 131 games for the Tigers in 2003 and batted .248 with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs. [5]

In 2004, Peña established career highs in games played (142), at bats (481), hits (116), doubles (22), home runs (27), runs scored (89), RBIs (82), total bases (227), stolen bases (7), walks (70), and strikeouts (146). Peña also batted .241 in 2004. [5]

On May 27, 2004, against the Kansas City Royals, Peña matched a Tigers' nine-inning, single-game record with a career-high six hits. He became the fifth player in franchise history to do so and the first since Damion Easley on August 8, 2001, against the Texas Rangers. He batted in the eighth spot in the batting order and his six hits were the most from the eighth spot since Wilbert Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles collected seven hits on June 10, 1892 against St. Louis.

Peña began the 2005 season as the Tigers' starting first baseman. After playing in 40 games in which he batted .181 with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs, Peña was demoted to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, where he played in 71 games for the Mud Hens and batted .311 with 12 home runs and 71 RBIs. Following an injury to shortstop Carlos Guillén, Peña was recalled on August 17. Following his recall, he hit 15 home runs in 38 games. Overall, he played in 79 games for the Tigers in 2005, and batted .235 with 18 home runs and 44 RBIs. [5]

In Spring training during 2006, Peña batted .160 with 1 home run and 4 RBIs in 17 games for the Tigers, and the Tigers released him on March 26, 2006.

While with the Tigers, Peña hit the longest home run, a 461-foot blast, in Comerica Park history. [6]

New York Yankees

Peña signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees on April 15, 2006. He played at the Triple-A level for the Columbus Clippers. Playing in 105 games, he batted .260 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs. Peña exercised a clause in his contract and became a free agent on August 16.

Boston Red Sox

On August 17, 2006, Peña signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox and was assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket. At Pawtucket, Peña played in 11 games and batted .459 with 4 home runs and 8 RBIs. His contract was purchased on August 28. On September 4, Peña hit his only home run of the season. He was a defensive replacement and when he batted in the bottom of the ninth, he hit a walk-off home run off Brandon McCarthy of the Chicago White Sox.

Peña ended up playing in 18 games for the Red Sox in 2006. He batted .273 with 1 home run and three RBIs. [5] Following the season, he opted for free agency.

Tampa Bay Rays

Peña signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on February 1, 2007 with an invitation to spring training. The Rays reassigned Peña to minor league camp. With a knee injury to Greg Norton on the last day of spring training, the Rays re-signed him, this time to a Major League contract on April 1.

Pena is congratulated by Carl Crawford and Akinori Iwamura after hitting a three-run home run against the Yankees on April 4, 2008. 136 TampaBayRays.jpg
Peña is congratulated by Carl Crawford and Akinori Iwamura after hitting a three-run home run against the Yankees on April 4, 2008.

Peña was on the Rays' active roster throughout the 2007 season. Peña had a slow start to his 2007 season, batting .213 with four home runs in the month of April as a backup player. Peña hit .356 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in May as an everyday player and was the Rays' first baseman for the rest of the season. He had four multi-home run games from August 26 to September 22.

Peña would go on to have the best season of his career in 2007 and set numerous career highs. He finished the season with a .282 batting average, 46 home runs and 121 RBIs. His batting average, home runs, and RBIs were career highs, as well as games played (148), at bats (490), runs scored (99), doubles (29), total bases (307), on-base percentage (.411), slugging percentage (.627), walks (103), and strikeouts (142). [5] He was second in the American League in home runs to Alex Rodriguez' 54. His home run, RBIs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and walk totals also set Rays franchise records. In 2007, he had the lowest range factor of all AL league first basemen, 8.73. Peña's season led to his being named the 2007 American League Comeback Player of the Year and he was considered as an AL MVP candidate. He also was named the Player's Choice AL Comeback Player of the Year by fellow players. Peña was allowed to donate $20,000 to Dominican youth under the poverty line. [7]

Pena with the Rays in 2009. AAAA9945 Carlos Pena.jpg
Peña with the Rays in 2009.

In 2008, Peña had .227 batting average and 11 home runs in 207 at-bats through June 4, 2008. A day after going 2–3 with a home run and three runs batted in against the Boston Red Sox, Peña was placed on the fifteen-day disabled placed on June 4, 2008 due to a broken finger. He returned to action from the disabled list on June 27, and finished the season with a .247 batting average, 31 home runs, and 102 RBIs. [5] Peña homered once every 15.8 at-bats, the highest ratio on the Rays. [8] One of his home runs, on September 19 against the Minnesota Twins, was the result of the first call overturned by instant replay in MLB history. [9] After the 2008 season ended, he was awarded his first (and also the first for a Tampa Bay Rays franchise player) AL Gold Glove.

Peña was elected for the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, replacing Dustin Pedroia and participated in the 2009 Home Run Derby where he lost in a batoff against Albert Pujols in the first round. On September 7, 2009, Peña suffered two broken fingers after getting hit by a pitch, which put him out for the rest of the 2009 season. [10] Despite missing the last few weeks of the season, he still finished tied for the lead for home runs in the American League at 39 with Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees. [11] Peña's three-year contract with the Rays, reported by the St. Petersburg Times as worth $24.125 million, expired at the end of the 2010 season. [12]

In 2010 with the Rays, he hit 28 home runs drove in 84 runs and finished the season with a .196 batting average (below the Mendoza line), the lowest average of anyone in the Majors who qualified for the batting title. [13] He also started 135 games at first base for the Rays and played in 144 games.

In the 2010 American League Division Series against Texas, Peña got his first triple of the year off Rangers starter Tommy Hunter in Game 4 on October 10, helping the Rays even the playoff series at two games apiece. The day before, he had gone 2-for-3 with a home run. The Rays would lose the series, 3–2.

Chicago Cubs

Pena with the Cubs in 2011 Carlos Pena Cubs (1).jpg
Peña with the Cubs in 2011

On December 8, 2010, Carlos Peña signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs worth $10 million. Peña received $5 million in 2011 and $5 million in January 2012, counted against the 2011 payroll. [14] In 153 games he hit .225 with 28 home runs and 80 RBIs as Chicago's starting first baseman. [15]

Second stint with the Tampa Bay Rays

Pena with the Rays in 2012 CarlosPena2012.jpg
Peña with the Rays in 2012

On January 20, 2012, Peña returned to the Rays for a second stint, signing a 1-year, $7.25 million deal. [16] He was introduced four days later on January 24 after passing a physical earlier in the day. [17] He returned to his #23 uniform number he had in his previous tenure with the Rays. [18]

During opening day on April 6, 2012 against the Yankees, Peña hit a grand slam off of CC Sabathia in his first at-bat and later, the game-winning hit off of Mariano Rivera to seal a 7-6 victory for the Rays.

Peña played in 160 games, serving as the primary first baseman and occasional DH. He finished the 2012 season with a .197 average (lowest among all qualified MLB batters), 19 home runs, and 61 RBI. [19]

Houston Astros

On December 17, 2012, Peña signed a one-year deal with the Houston Astros, worth $2.9 million with another $1.4 million in incentives, to be their designated hitter in their inaugural American League season. [20] On July 21, 2013, Peña was designated for assignment. He was released by the Astros on July 31, 2013.

Kansas City Royals

Peña was signed to a minor league contract by the Kansas City Royals on August 28, 2013. [21] He played in 4 games for the Royals with three hitless at bats before the end of the season.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

On January 28, 2014, Peña along with Brennan Boesch, [22] signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The contract included an invitation to spring training. [23] On March 23, Peña was released by the Angels. [24]

Second stint with the Rangers

Pena with the Rangers in 2014 Carlos Pena rangers(1).jpg
Peña with the Rangers in 2014

On June 17, 2014, Peña signed a minor league deal to return to the Rangers. [25] He was called up on June 24. He played 18 games for the Rangers, batting .136/.190/.237 with 2 runs batted in in 59 at bats before being designated for assignment on July 17. [26] On August 17, Peña was officially released by the Rangers.

Pena with the Rangers in 2014 Carlos Pena rangers(2).jpg
Peña with the Rangers in 2014

After remaining out of the game for over a year, failing to find another team to play for, Peña announced plans to sign a one-day contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. He would immediately retire. [27]

Broadcasting

In December 2014, MLB Network announced that Peña had joined its team as a studio analyst. [28]

In September 2017, Peña appeared on New England Sports Network (NESN) as a studio analyst, and also worked as a color commentator with Jerry Remy and play-by-play announcer Dave O'Brien during the Red Sox' final series of the regular season, against the Houston Astros.

In 2018, he was featured on a Season 7 episode of “Impractical Jokers” during a punishment for Joe Gatto, one of the Jokers.

In February 2019, Peña was announced as part of the NESN broadcast team for the Red Sox' 2019 season, to fill in when regular color commentators Jerry Remy and Dennis Eckersley are not available. [29]

Personal life

In the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Peña donated food and medical supplies to the victims and made fundraising appearances, which he described as, "people uniting for a good cause, people showing their good heart". [12] Peña is also a spokesman for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and, in 2008, was the Rays' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given for exemplifying on-field achievement and sportsmanship with off-field community service. [12] He has also worked with Uncork for a Cause [30] and "Rays on the Runway" charity event held by his former team. [31] Carlos and his wife, Pamela, have three children. [32]

See also

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