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José Oquendo

José Oquendo
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 11
Outfielder / Infielder / Coach
Born: (1963-07-04) July 4, 1963 (age 52)
Río Piedras, Puerto Rico
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 2, 1983 for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1995 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Batting average .256
Hits 821
Runs batted in 254

As Player

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As Manager

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Career highlights and awards
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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Oquendo and the second or maternal family name is Contreras.

José Manuel Roberto Guillermo Oquendo Contreras (born July 4, 1963) is a former Major League Baseball infielder and the current third base coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is currently the longest tenured third base coach in Major League Baseball. He also served as manager of the team representing Puerto Rico in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.[1]

New York Mets

Oquendo was born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, and signed with the New York Mets as an amateur free agent in

  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year at only fifteen years old. When he made his major league debut with the Mets in
  2. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, he became the first player in franchise history to be younger than the franchise (the Mets began play in
  3. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year; Oquendo was born in 1963). After two seasons bouncing back and forth between the Mets and their triple A affiliate the Tidewater Tides, Oquendo was traded with Mark J. Davis to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ángel Salazar and John Young.

St. Louis Cardinals

Oquendo spent all of

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  2. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year season. Along with short, Oquendo played second base, third and in the outfield.


  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, Oquendo played every position, except catcher, and was nicknamed "The Secret Weapon" by manager Whitey Herzog. His one emergency appearance on the mound came on August 7. Already down 12–4 to the Philadelphia Phillies, Oquendo pitched the eighth inning and gave up three earned runs.[2] Oquendo reached the post season for the only time in his career in 1987. He batted .222, including a three run home run in the second inning of the seventh game of the 1987 National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants.


  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, Oquendo became one of only a handful of players to have played every position on the diamond when he made his debut behind the plate. He also took the mound again, this time it was in a nineteen inning marathon against the Atlanta Braves on May 14. After pitching three scoreless innings, Oquendo was tagged for a two run double by Ken Griffey in the nineteenth, and took the loss.[3]

With Luis Alicea back in the minors in

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His best season with the glove was the following season, when he set a major league record for the fewest errors (three) by a second baseman in a 150+ game season.[4] However, perennial Gold Glover and future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg won the Gold Glove Award that year.

In the first game of the

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Career stats

Games PA AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB HBP SO Avg. OBP Fld%
1190 3737 3202 339 821 104 24 14 254 35 33 448 5 376 .256 .346 .983

Oquendo was 0–1 with a 12.00 earned run average over six innings in three games pitched. His career fielding percentage as a second baseman was .992.


Oquendo accepted a minor league coaching position with the Cardinals in

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  2. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. He became bench coach for St. Louis in
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Oquendo was thrown out of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 13,

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On April 4,

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Over the past few years Oquendo has interviewed for managerial positions with San Diego, Seattle, and the New York Mets. Also during the 2011 offseason he was interviewed for the managing position with the Cardinals. The spot would later go to Mike Matheny.

On August 17, 2012, Oquendo was again ejected from a game for arguing balls and strikes. After a called strike to Jon Jay from Pittsburgh Pirates starter James McDonald, Oquendo came down the third base line arguing with home plate umpire Lance Barrett. He was immediately ejected from the game. Manager Mike Matheny came out to try to prevent further argument while Oquendo kicked dirt across the plate.

Oquendo developed "speed-feed" drills for the infielders. Besides lobbing the standard ground balls, Oquendo had third basemen Matt Carpenter and catching prospect Carson Kelly standing foul territory about three paces away, bowling baseballs at a rapid pace until they grew tired and increased their endurance in and improved footwork and positioning.[6]

The Sklar Brothers and the "Utility Man"

Main article: Cheap Seats

In 2004, a comical one hour special aired on ESPN and was produced by MLB Productions about José Oquendo. It featured Randy and Jason Sklar of Cheap Seats going on a trip all the way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on a campaign to get José "The Utilityman" Oquendo inducted for his versatility to play any position on the baseball field. The special included the Sklars receiving Oquendo's blessing to lobby for his spot in Cooperstown, collecting signatures for the petition, and giving a lackluster presentation to the Hall of Fame's committee. After initially denying their claim, the committee agreed to place his plaque in a spot that fits his utility specialty- the utility closet.

See also


  1. ^ "World Baseball Classic: Puerto Rico". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  2. ^ "Philadelphia Phillies 15, St. Louis Cardinals 5". Retrieved 1987-08-07.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ "Atlanta Braves 7, St. Louis Cardinals 5". Retrieved 1988-05-14.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ "Error Records by Second Basemen". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  5. ^ "Manager & coaches". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  6. ^ Goold, Derrick (February 11, 2014). "Oquendo gets Carpenter, infielders up to speed". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 

External links

Preceded by
Carney Lansford
St. Louis Cardinals bench coach
Succeeded by
Joe Pettini
Preceded by
St. Louis Cardinals third base coach
Succeeded by

Template:Puerto Rico 2009 World Baseball Classic roster Template:Puerto Rico 2006 World Baseball Classic roster