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October 26, 1935|
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|1959 for the Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo|
|Last professional appearance|
|September 29, 1970|
|Runs batted in||1,273|
|Career highlights and awards|
Roberto Francisco Ávila González (April 2, 1924 – October 26, 2004) was a Major League Baseball second baseman and right-handed batter who played for the Cleveland Indians (1949–58), Baltimore Orioles (1959), Boston Red Sox (1959), Milwaukee Braves (1959) and Tigres del México (1960). Born in Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico, he had a medium frame at 5' 10" and 175 lb. He was better known in his homeland and other Latin American countries as "Beto" and in the majors as "Bobby".
Ronnie Camacho broke into pro baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals farm system in 1953. In '54, he hit 16 home runs for the Fresno Cardinals of the California League, pretty good for an 18-year old second baseman. He kept bouncing around the system the next year, playing ball in leagues classified C, B and A (two different A leagues). Not finding room for the young slugging infielder, the Cards let him go to his native Mexico to join the Mexican League. In 1956 he played for the New Laredo Owls but was unimpressive - .231/~.319/.331. In '57, he split the year between the South Atlantic League and the Mexican League, hitting .305 in his short time in the Liga. He would never get a chance again in the U.S.
In 1958 Camacho began to emerge as a star in Mexico. Still just 22, he cranked out 20 homers and drove in 80, slugging .479. He fell to .229 the next season but hit another 23 long balls, sixth in the Liga.
In 1960 Camacho moved to first base upon joining the new Puebla Parrots (New Laredo ceased play after '59 - the team may have transferred - I'm unclear on this point). His homer total fell to 10 but he hit .290 and drew 72 walks. After playing for Veracruz and Mexico City in '61, he returned to Puebla for the rest of the 1960s, where he formed a two-Camacho homer duo with Moises Camacho.
1962 was Camacho's first big year, as he led the Liga in homers (25). He hit .290/~.407/.529 that year, the first season he topped a .500 slugging - he would reach the level in 4 of the next 5 seasons. In '63, Camacho repeated as a home run king (39) and also led in runs (108) and RBIs (108) in his greatest power-hitting season. He hit .289/~.407/.584. That year Puebla won their only title, thanks in large part due to Camacho's bat. In '64, he slipped to .278 with an OBP around .391 and a slugging of .536. He hit another 35 homers and drove in 114 runners, third in both stats behind Héctor Espino and Bobby Prescott. In 1965 Camacho drew 103 walks to lead the league (none intentionally - he usually averaged about 10 IBB at this time) and hit 25 homers - .264/~.394/.471.
In '66, Camacho kept up his fine hitting. The 30-year old hit his 230th career home run, breaking Angel Castro's Liga record. He had his first .300 season (.314, a career high), posted a .455 OBP (third behind Espino and Ellie Hendricks), a .589 slugging (third behind Espino and Prescott), scored a career-high and league-best 109 runs, drove in 114 (8 behind Prescott), hit 30 homers (third) and walked a career-high 120 times (tops in the league). It was probably his best all-around season. In '67, he slipped to .289/~.417/.501 with 20 HR and 96 walks. In '68, his power vanished as he only hit 9 homers, though he still drew 94 walks. In 1969 he had his last great season. In his final year for Puebla, he batted .303/~.419/.493 with 24 HR, a career-high 116 RBIs and 98 walks. He led the league in RBIs for the second time that year, giving him two run titles, two RBI titles, two walk titles and two RBI titles for the 1960s.
Camacho slipped to .241 with 15 HR and 73 BB for the Yucatán Lions in 1970 then played for three teams in the next five years, never hitting more than 5 homers as he faded away.
In the Mexican League, Camacho had hit .272/~.396/.460 with 317 HR and 1,273 RBIs. Through 2000 and despite spending his first few years in the US, Camacho ranked 11th in the Liga in career games (2,204), 8th in runs (1,190), 7th in RBIs (1,273), 5th in homers (317, at that point behind only Espino, Nelson Barrera, Andrés Mora and Alejandro Ortiz), 1st in walks (1,411, a record he still holds) and 8th with 3,227 total bases.
Camacho managed 6 Mexican League teams in the 1970s and also was the skipper of two Mexican Pacific League pennant-winners ('66-'67 and '73-'74). He won one batting title in the LMP and hit .259 with 139 homers there.
In 1983 Camacho was elected into the Salon de la Fama.
Sources: "The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics" by Pedro Treto Cisneros, Viva Beisbol! newsletter by Bruce Baskin, Jamie Marshall
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|1971||Broncos de Reynosa||Mexican League||47-100||12th|
|1972||Broncos de Reynosa||Mexican League||--||--||replaced by Jorge Fitch|
|1973||Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz||Mexican League||7th||Lost in 2nd round||replaced Mario Ariosa|
|1974||Tigres de México||Mexican League||15th||replaced Jose Luis Garcia|
|1975||Rieleros de Aguascalientes||Mexican League||51-85||16th|
|1976||Alijadores de Tampico||Mexican League||8th||replaced Benny Valenzuela|
|1977||Tigres de México||Mexican League||11th||replaced Jose Luis Garcia|
|1978||Dorados de Chihuahua||Mexican League||60-89||15th|
|1979||Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz||Mexican League||--||--||replaced by Miguel Sotelo|