Showing posts with label Ed Bauta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ed Bauta. Show all posts

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Ed Bauta, Cuban Pitcher With The New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, Dies At 87


Ed Bauta, a former Cuban pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets died July 6, 2022, at Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, New Jersey. He was 87. With Bauta’s passing and the recent deaths of Leo Posada and Cholly Naranjo, only a few players remain who played in the Cuban Winter League prior to Castro’s takeover. 

The 6’3” right-handed pitcher grew up in the town of Florida in Cuba’s Camag├╝ey province. He caught Pittsburgh Pirates scout Howie Haak’s attention at a 1955 tryout in Camag├╝ey and was later signed to the Pittsburgh Pirates with a $500 bonus. 

Toiling in the low minors, Bauta returned home to Cuba, but couldn’t latch on with one of the four major teams. “I tried out, but they sent me home,” Bauta said in 2011. 

He trained with Marianao as a reserve, but never saw any regular season action. Finally, after a strong showing in A-ball in 1958, he earned a spot on the team. He pitched the final three seasons of the Cuban Winter League, finishing the 1960-61 season with Havana. 

“I finally played with Marianao for two years and then ended up with Havana,” he said. “Everybody’s salary was cut in two to help the revolution [the final season].” 

Sadly, Bauta had to make the decision, like many of his Cuban brethren to leave his family behind in Cuba after the 1960-61 Winter League season. 

“My family house was gone,” he said. “I had a few dollars in the bank and that was gone too.” 

Stateside, Bauta continued to make strides towards the major leagues. When the Pirates traded Bauta in 1960 to the Cardinals with Julian Javier, it opened the door for Bauta to make his major league debut. He stayed with the Cardinals for the rest of the 1960 season. 

He shuttled between the majors and the minors the next two seasons with the Cardinals, before being traded to the New York Mets for Ken MacKenzie in August 1963. The late-season acquisition allowed Bauta to be a part of Mets history, pitching in the final game at the Polo Grounds on September 18th. The game was played to little fanfare and Bauta didn’t recall much about the game during our 2011 conversation.

Bauta was also connected to another bit in Mets history, as he was the losing pitcher in the first game at Shea Stadium. He came in relief of Jack Fisher in the 7th inning, but couldn’t hold the 3-2 lead, giving up both the tying and go-ahead runs. Less than a month later, Casey Stengel sent Bauta to the minor leagues. It didn’t sit well with the Cuban reliever. 

“In 1964, I only pitched eight games,” he said. “They sent me down to Buffalo. I went 8-4. They didn’t send me back up. I got pissed off and quit.” 

Bauta never reached the majors despite pitching in the minors and the Mexican League until 1974. He worked in the moving business until 1988 before retiring due to knee problems. In retirement, Bauta kept close contact with fellow Mets and Cardinals pitcher Craig Anderson. 

“He knows everything about baseball,” he said. “He’s a hell of a guy.” 

At the time of our talk in 2011, Bauta also shared the news of his MLB annuity payments. The union agreed to make annual payments to non-vested players who were on MLB rosters at least 43 days before 1979. While Bauta played in parts of four seasons, he did not play long enough to vest for a pension. He welcomed the extra money. 

“We’re really happy about it,” he said.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Potter's next set of private signings include over 70 former major leaguers

Chris Potter with Dr. Mike Marshall
Chris Potter is set to embark on his next round of house calls beginning January 25th. While Potter is not a physician, his visits will include a doctor, five Cy Young Award winners, two World Series MVP’s, and enough All-Stars to populate a virtual mid-summer classic. Potter has been working tirelessly to connect baseball stars of yesteryear with adorning fans looking to add prized signatures to their collections.

By traveling to their homes across the country, Potter has brought the convenience of signing right to the players front doors, while at the same time taking expert care of the rare and one-of-a-kind items that collectors send in. "“Everybody I’ve worked with really enjoys this. If you look at it, they don’t have to go anywhere and guys their age, they don’t like to travel. Not only are we providing a service to the collectors, we are providing a service to the players as well. That’s what is appealing to a lot of these guys. They want to accommodate the fans and they want to go to these shows, but some are physically unable to do so. With the service we provide, they’re able to accommodate the fans and they’re happy to do so with what we provide,” said Potter in an interview earlier this year.

Fans may recognize some of the bigger names of this trip including the elusive Dr. Mike Marshall, Cecil Fielder, Camilo Pascual, Bobby Richardson, and Ron LeFlore (whose amazing path to the major leagues was chronicled in the 1978 movie, “One in a Million”); however, Potter also specializes in obscure and hard to find ballplayers who may have fallen out of contemporary baseball discussions, but are still alive and well in the hearts of diehard fans and collectors. Lesser known veterans such as Vic Albury, Ed Bauta, Carl Boles, Joe Cannon, and Larry Whisenton will also be receiving visits from Mr. Potter.

With over 70 different players during this series of signings, there is certainly something for everyone aficionado. To view the complete list of Potter’s signings, and information on how to participate, visit his website www.chrispottersports.com. All items are due by January 25th, 2013.