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Sixto Lezcano

Sixto Lezcano

Position(s):
OF, RF, DH, CF, LF
Born:
November 28, 1953
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 10"
Weight:
165 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-10-1974 with ML4
Allstar Selections:
1979 GG

Sixto Joaquin Lezcano Curras (born November 28, 1953 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico) is a retired baseball player who played for 12 seasons as an outfielder in the Major Leagues between 1974 and 1985. He played for 5 different teams in the Majors and won a Gold Glove during his career.

Lezcano was originally signed as an amateur in 1970 by the Milwaukee Brewers. After spending four seasons in their minor league system, Lezcano reached the big leagues for the first time in 1974 the same year that Robin Yount was a rookie. Yount was 18, while Sixto was 20. He became the Brewers' starting right fielder in 1975, a job he would hold for the next 6 seasons. He showed a particularly strong throwing arm in right field, and led American League outfielders in assists in 1978.

His best offensive numbers came in 1979, when he finished among the top 10 in the AL in batting average and home runs, and finished with the third-highest slugging percentage in the American League. That season, he was honored for his defensive skills with the only Gold Glove of his major league career. He was second in the league in OPS+, although he finished only 15th in the MVP voting.

While with the Brewers, he became the only player in Major League Baseball history to hit a grand slam on Opening Day twice, doing so in both 1978 and 1980.

After the 1980 season, he was part of a blockbuster 7-player trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, being one of four players traded in exchange for Rollie Fingers, Pete Vuckovich, and Ted Simmons. He wasn't able to consistently crack the starting lineup in St. Louis, and batted .266 with the Cardinals in 1981.

He was involved in another major trade after the 1981 season, being traded to the San Diego Padres with Garry Templeton for Ozzie Smith. He hit well in his first year with the Padres, he had a .388 OBP, which was sixth in the league. However, his numbers fell off with the Padres in the 1983 season, and he lost his job in right field to a young Tony Gwynn. He was eventually traded to the Philadelphia Phillies late in the year in exchange for 4 players to be named later.

Lezcano joined a Phillies team which would go on to win the National League pennant in 1983. He platooned with Joe Lefebvre during the postseason, and homered off Rick Honeycutt during the NLCS. He had one base hit in eight at-bats in the Phillies' World Series loss. In the World Series he started two games, batting second in one (ahead of Mike Schmidt and fourth in the other one (behind Schmidt).

He continued to platoon with Philadelphia in 1984 and he had an OBP of .371 and a slugging percentage of .480. before leaving the team as a free agent. He signed for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1985 and served as one of the team's pinch hitters. The Pirates released him in spring training before the 1986 season, which would end his Major League career.

After the majors he played for Taiyo in Japan. Sixto played for the Caguas Creoles and the Santurce Crabbers of the Puerto Rican Winter Baseball League.

In 1989, Lezcano played for the Orlando Juice of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. Lezcano batted .400 in 2 games.

His cousin, Carlos Lezcano, played for two seasons in the Major Leagues.

Lezcano is presently the batting coach for the Danville Braves (the Rookie league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves).

Lezcano was mentioned by name in the song "Sixto (That's Who the Happy People Know)".

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Tagged:
1983 World Series, Gold Glove, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Sixto Lezcano

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