Dave Concepción

Last updated
David Concepción
Dave Concepcion - Cincinnati Reds.jpg
Shortstop
Born: (1948-06-17) June 17, 1948 (age 70)
Ocumare de la Costa, Venezuela
Batted: RightThrew: Right
MLB debut
April 6, 1970, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
September 15, 1988, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average .267
Hits 2,326
Home runs 101
Runs batted in 950
Teams
Career highlights and awards

David Ismael Concepción Benitez (born June 17, 1948), is a former Venezuelan shortstop in Major League Baseball. He played with the Cincinnati Reds for nineteen years (1970–1988) including their back-to-back World Series championship seasons in 1975 and 1976. The Reds later retired jersey number 13 in honor of Concepción's contributions to the team. [1]

Shortstop defensive position in baseball and softball played on the left side of the infield between second and third bases

Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball or softball fielding position between second and third base, which is considered to be among the most demanding defensive positions. Historically the position was assigned to defensive specialists who were typically poor at batting and were often placed at the bottom of the batting order. Today shortstops are often able to hit well and many are placed at the top of the lineup. In the numbering system used by scorers to record defensive plays, the shortstop is assigned the number 6.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four 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.

Cincinnati Reds Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. They were a charter member of the American Association in 1882 and joined the NL in 1890.

Contents

Early life

Concepción was born in Ocumare de la Costa, Aragua State, Venezuela, the son of a truck driver [2] and his wife, Ernestina. [3] He attended Agustin Codazzi High School. After high school, he worked as a bank teller [4] and played part-time for the local Tigres de Aragua baseball team. His coach, Wilfredo Calviño, was also a Cincinnati Reds' scout, and Calviño signed Concepción to a Reds' contract in 1967. [2]

Venezuela Republic in northern South America

Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas. It has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2. For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, and 99,889 km2 of continental shelf. This marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has extremely high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.

Tigres de Aragua baseball team

The Tigres de Aragua(English: Aragua Tigers) is a baseball team that plays in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League and represents the state of Aragua.

Career

Following the steps of his childhood heroes Chico Carrasquel and Luis Aparicio, Jr., Concepción, originally drafted as a pitcher, came out of Venezuela to become one of the Reds' and the National League's greatest all-time shortstops. He made his big-league debut on April 6, 1970, starting at shortstop and going 0-for-4 as the Reds defeated the Montreal Expos, 5-1. [5] He went 0-for-4 again the next day against the Los Angeles Dodgers before getting his first hit on April 8, a seventh-inning double off Dodgers pitcher (and future Reds teammate) Fred Norman. [6]

Chico Carrasquel baseball player

Alfonso Carrasquel Colón, better known as Chico Carrasquel, was a Venezuelan professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox (1950–1955), Cleveland Indians (1956–1958), Kansas City Athletics (1958) and the Baltimore Orioles (1959). Carrasquel was the first in a long line of Major League shortstops from Venezuela including, Luis Aparicio, Dave Concepción, Ozzie Guillén and Omar Vizquel among others. He was notable for his excellent defensive abilities and for being the first Latin American in MLB history to start in an All-Star Game.

Luis Aparicio baseball player

Luis Ernesto Aparicio Montiel, nicknamed "Little Louie" is a former professional baseball player who was a Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop from 1956 to 1973, most notably for the Chicago White Sox. He became known for his exceptional fielding and base stealing skills, and is the first Venezuelan player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Montreal Expos were a Canadian professional baseball team based in Montreal, Quebec. The Expos were the first Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise located outside the United States. They played in the National League (NL) East Division from 1969 until 2004. Following the 2004 season, the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C., and became the Washington Nationals.

In his first three seasons, Reds manager Sparky Anderson played him part-time, sharing duties with Woody Woodward and Darrel Chaney. In one of those appearances, in 1971, he was the only team member to reach base safely when the Reds were no-hit by the Philadelphia Phillies' Rick Wise; a sixth-inning walk spoiled what would have been a perfect game. In 1973, Concepción blossomed, both at bat and in the field, being named the starting shortstop. On May 9, in a Reds 9–7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, Johnny Bench hit three home runs and drove in seven runs against pitcher Steve Carlton. It was the second time that Bench smashed three homers against Carlton in a game. However, a Concepción two-run tie-breaker homer in the ninth, off Barry Lersch, was the game-winner. Concepción had been named to the NL All-Star team, but on July 22, two days before the game he dislocated his knee and broke his leg(sliding into third base after moving from first base with Denis Menke base hit against the Expos in the bottom of the seventh inning at Riverfront, fracturing the fibula of left leg) and missed the second half of the year. At this time, he was batting .287, with 8 HRs, 46 RBI, 39 runs, 18 doubles, three triples and 22 stolen bases.

Sparky Anderson American baseball player and manager

George Lee "Sparky" Anderson was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) player, coach, and manager. He managed the National League's Cincinnati Reds to the 1975 and 1976 championships, then added a third title in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers of the American League. Anderson was the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues. His 2,194 career wins are the sixth most for a manager in Major League history. Anderson was named American League Manager of the Year in 1984 and 1987. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

William Frederick "Woody" Woodward is a former professional baseball player, college baseball coach, and general manager. He played all or part of nine seasons in Major League Baseball, primarily as a shortstop, but is better known for his tenure as general manager of the Seattle Mariners.

Darrel Chaney American baseball player

Darrel Lee Chaney is an American former player/announcer in Major League Baseball who played for the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves from 1969 to 1979. In the early 1980s he worked for the Braves as an announcer along with Ernie Johnson, Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren. He was on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network as well as WTBS-TV.

Willie McCovey attempts to tag Cincinnati Reds' shortstop Dave Concepcion out at first base in McCovey's final game at Candlestick Park, Copyright 1980 Sheldon Dunn 198009-012WillieMcCoveyLastCandlestick.png
Willie McCovey attempts to tag Cincinnati Reds' shortstop Dave Concepción out at first base in McCovey's final game at Candlestick Park, Copyright 1980 Sheldon Dunn

Concepción returned in 1974 and played 160 games. He enjoyed his best overall season, batting .281, with 14 HR and 82 RBI, as well as winning his first of five Gold Glove Awards.

By 1975, Concepción joined Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Pérez, Ken Griffey, Sr., George Foster and César Gerónimo in the famous "Great Eight" starting lineup of The Big Red Machine that would help the Reds win the next two World Series titles. Even after Concepción had established himself in the major leagues as a star shortstop, he continued to play winter ball in Venezuela, helping to improve his batting. After his .274, 5, 49 totals in the 1975 Major League season, Concepción posted marks of: .281, 9, 69 (1976); .271, 8, 64 (1977); .301, 6, 67 (1978); .281, 16, 84 (1979); .260, 5, 77 (1980); .306, 5, 67 (1981); and .287, 5, 53 (1982).

Pete Rose American baseball player

Peter Edward Rose Sr., also known by his nickname "Charlie Hustle", is an American former professional baseball player and manager. Rose played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989.

Johnny Bench American baseball player

Johnny Lee Bench is an American former professional baseball catcher who played in the Major Leagues for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983 and is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Bench is a 14-time All-Star selection and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player. He was a key member of the Big Red Machine that won six division titles, four National League pennants, and two consecutive World Series championships. ESPN has called him the greatest catcher in baseball history.

Joe Morgan Major League Baseball second baseman

Joe Leonard Morgan is an American former professional baseball second baseman who played Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Oakland Athletics from 1963 to 1984. He won two World Series championships with the Reds in 1975 and 1976 and was also named the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) in each of those years. Considered one of the greatest second basemen of all-time, Morgan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. After retiring as an active player, Morgan became a baseball broadcaster for the Reds, Giants, and ESPN. He currently hosts a weekly nationally-syndicated radio show on Sports USA, while serving as a special advisor to the Reds.

On July 13, 1982, the first All-Star Game outside of the United States was held at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Concepción hit a two-run homer to help the National League to a 4–1 win (the NL's 11th straight victory and 19th in the last 20 contests). Concepción was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Later in his career, Concepción worked with Tony Pérez and perfected the one-bounce throw to first base. Concepción was the first shortstop to use this method to take advantage of the smooth artificial turf at Riverfront Stadium and other parks in the National League.

Hampered by age, an elbow injury and shoulder surgery in 1982, Concepción had consecutive sub-par seasons from 1983–84. Grooming Barry Larkin as his successor, he became a dependable handyman at all four infield positions. He was replaced by Larkin in 1986, only 44 games away from Larry Bowa's NL record for shortstops.

In 1988, which would be his 19th and final season with the Reds, manager Pete Rose sent Concepción in to pitch 1.1 innings in Dodger Stadium late in a blow-out game. He gave up two hits, no runs, and struck out one batter. The Reds released Concepción after the 1988 season. He attempted a 20th Major League season in 1989, trying out for the California Angels, [7] but he failed to make the roster and retired from playing. [2]

Personal life

After retiring in 1989, he served as manager of the Tigres de Aragua team in Venezuela.

Concepción resides with his wife, Delia, in Urbanizacion El Castaño, a community in Maracay, Venezuela [8] at the base of the mountains near Henri Pittier National Park. They have three grown children, sons David Alejandro and David Eduardo, and daughter Daneska. [2] Concepción owns a farm as well as a trucking business. [3]

CincinnatiReds13.png
Dave Concepción's number 13 was retired by the Cincinnati Reds in 2007.

On August 25, 2007, the Cincinnati Reds held a pre-game ceremony to retire Concepción's number 13.

Joining him were several other all-time Reds greats whose numbers were retired, including former teammates Tony Pérez, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and manager Sparky Anderson as well as former teammates Ken Griffey and George Foster. Concepción has said that he originally chose that number to honor his mother, Ernestina, who was born in 1913. [9] It was the first occasion in Major League history that the number 13 was retired by a team.

His number 13 was also retired by the Venezuelan team for which he played 20 years of winter ball, Tigres de Aragua of Maracay. [3] In 2014, he was named vice president of the club. [8] He is a member of the Caribbean Series Hall of Fame. [3]

In 2014, Concepción returned to Cincinnati to serve as grand marshal of the annual opening day Findlay Market Parade, and later he and his successor at shortstop for the Reds, Barry Larkin, threw the ceremonial first pitches prior to the Reds' season opener. [8]

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Further reading

See also

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References

  1. "Concepción's jersey retired". espn.com. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
  2. 1 2 3 4 David L. Porter (1995). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: 1992–1995 supplement for baseball, football, basketball, and other sports. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 56–. ISBN   978-0-313-28431-1.
  3. 1 2 3 4 beisbol. "Dave Concepcion Reds SS Interview – 1-800-BEISBOL – 1-800-BEISBOL". www.1800beisbol.com.
  4. Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) (1 April 2014). The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 144–. ISBN   978-0-8032-5340-7.
  5. "Montreal Expos at Cincinnati Reds Box Score, April 6, 1970 – Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  6. "Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers Box Score, April 8, 1970 – Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  7. PENNER, MIKE (1989-03-07). "Angel Notebook : Concepción Is Trying to Prove Reds Wrong". Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  8. 1 2 3 "Concepcion recalls time with 'kidnap cops'".
  9. "Concepcion's jersey retired". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
Preceded by
Gary Carter
National League Player of the Month
April, 1981
Succeeded by
Art Howe