- SS, 3B, DH, 2B
- Chico, Mr. Automatic
- December 17, 1938
- 5' 11"
- 150 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 7-25-1960 with CIN
- Allstar Selections:
- 1965 GG
Leonardo Lazaro Cárdenas Alfonso (born December 17, 1938 in Matanzas, Cuba) was a prominent shortstop in American Major League Baseball for 16 years (1960–75). A right-handed batter and thrower and a superior fielder, he was nicknamed Chico.
He played for the Cincinnati Reds (1960–68), Minnesota Twins (1969–71), California Angels (1972), Cleveland Indians (1973) and Texas Rangers (1974–75), batting .257 with 118 home runs in 1,941 games. He was a National League All-Star in 1964-66 and 1968 and an American League All-Star in 1971.
Cardenas appeared in the 1961 World Series against the New York Yankees with a .333 batting average. During the 1966 season Cardenas clubbed 20 homers and drove home 81 runs. He is the winner of the 1965 Gold Glove award and a five time All Star. Cardenas also appeared in back to back Champion Series with the Minnesota Twins in 1969 & 1970. During his career he powered six home runs off of Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal.
Cardenas led NL shortstops in fielding percentage in 1963 and 1966. He tied an AL record for assists by a shortstop in 1969 (570), and led in fielding percentage in 1971. He was voted in to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1981.
Cardenas lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and makes regular appearances at the Reds Hall of Fame, Great American Ball Park and every December at Reds Fest.
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