- CF, OF, RF, 1B, LF
- March 25, 1951
- 6' 2"
- 175 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 6-20-1970 with HOU
- Allstar Selections:
- 1972 GG, 1973 GG, 1974 GG, 1975 GG, 1976 GG
A talented player in the mold of Willie Mays, Cesar Cedeno never reached superstar status for many reasons, some beyond his control. The Dominican-born Cedeno was involved in a scandalous off-the-field episode that resulted in the death of his girlfriend; played much of his career for a team that rarely made headlines above the Oklahoma border; suffered from playing in the Astrodome, a stadium that cost him power numbers that may have gave him notoriety; and finally, injuries and attitude problems cost him playing time. Despite all of that, Cedeno had a very good career, winning five Gold Gloves and finishing among league leaders in steals, batting average, and doubles on many occasions.
#28 (1970-1985), #7 (1985 Cardinals, 1986 Dodgers)
Cedeno's last real starting job was as the Reds center fielder in 1982. In 1983, Eddie Milner took that job and Cedeno platooned in right with Paul Householder. Those sorts of player personnel decisions were the reason manager Russ Nixon didn't last long.
Or 1973 - take your pick, these two seasons are nearly identical. In 1972 he scored more runs, which was more a reflection of his station in the lineup. In both seasons he hit .320 with a slugging percentage of .537. He swiped 50 bases each year, and in 1974 he added 50+ again, to make it three straight years with 20 homers and 50 steals, something no other player has ever accomplished.
On the evening of December 11, 1973, Cedeno was with his mistress, 19-year old Altragracia de la Cruz, in the Dominican Republic, when a squabble resulted in her death by gunshot to the head. The gun belonged to Cedeno. Confronted with the evidence, Cedeno pleaded innocent and claimed the gun had gone off by accident while he and de la Cruz were fighting. Cedeno was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and was fined 100 pesos. He was back in the United States in time for spring training.
October 25, 1967: Signed by the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent; December 18, 1981: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Cincinnati Reds for Ray Knight; August 29, 1985: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Cardinals for Mark Jackson (minors); November 12, 1985: Granted Free Agency; March 14, 1986: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays; April 3, 1986: Released by the Toronto Blue Jays; April 10, 1986: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers; June 5, 1986: Released by the Los Angeles Dodgers; July 19, 1986: Signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Plate discipline. Though he cut down his strikeouts starting in 1975, Cedeno never walked enough for a high-order hitter.
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- Cesar Cedeno