Alexander Ramón Ramírez Quiñónez (born 15 August 1974) is a Japanese former professional baseball outfielder who had a long career in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He is the first foreign-born player to record 2,000 hits while playing in NPB. Before playing in Japan, he played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians (1998–2000) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2000). He batted and threw right-handed.
Ramirez celebrating his 2000 career hits in 2013
|Yokohama DeNA BayStars – No. 80|
|Born: 12 August 1974|
|MLB: 19 September, 1998, for the Cleveland Indians|
|NPB: 30 March, 2001, for the Yakult Swallows|
|MLB: 27 September, 2000, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|NPB: 8 October, 2013, for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars|
|MLB statistics |
|Runs batted in||48|
|NPB statistics |
|Runs batted in||1272|
|As a player:
|Career highlights and awards|
In October 2015 he was named as the BayStars manager for the 2016 season.
Professional baseball careerEdit
American minor leaguesEdit
Major League BaseballEdit
Ramírez made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians in 1998. On 28 July 2000, the Indians traded Ramírez and Enrique Wilson to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Wil Cordero. Across three MLB seasons, Ramírez batted .259 with 12 home runs, 48 runs batted in (RBI), 38 runs scored, 17 doubles, three triples, and three stolen bases in 135 games played.
Nippon Professional Baseball careerEdit
After the 2000 season, Ramírez signed with the Yakult Swallows (2001–2007) and was their cleanup hitter. During his final season with the Swallows he set the Central League record for most base hits in a single season with 204. (This record did not stand long as Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton surpassed Ramírez's tally en route to finishing the 2010 season with 214 hits.)
The 2007 season, however, proved to be Ramírez's last with the Swallows, who did offer him the multi-year contract he sought. Instead, the outfielder signed with the Yomiuri Giants for the 2008 season. Ramírez quickly flourished with his new team. In 2008, he led the Central League with 125 RBI while hitting .319 (6th in the league) with 45 home runs (2nd). He also hit two home runs in Game 2 of the Japan Series, including one in the bottom of the ninth to win Game 2. At the end of the 2008 season, Ramírez won the Central League MVP Award. He was the third Venezuelan player to be so honored in Japanese Baseball, joining Roberto Petagine (Central League, 2001) and Alex Cabrera (Pacific League, 2002).
After playing eight seasons in NPB, Ramirez obtained FA Right in 2008 and was no longer counted as a foreign player for roster purposes. As of 2017, only four foreign players in NPB history had accrued enough service time to achieve the classification.
On 6 April 2013, Ramirez hit a home run to record his 2,000 career hit in the NPB, becoming the 42nd player and the first foreign player to accomplish the feat. This accomplishment also earned Ramírez an invitation to the Meikyukai, a private club recognizing Japan's elite players. He was the first Western player to be so honored.
Baseball Challenge LeagueEdit
Ramírez spent the 2014 season as a player-coach with the Gunma Diamond Pegasus of Japan's Baseball Challenge League. In 45 games, he hit .305 with 7 home runs and 38 RBI. He retired after the 2014 season and signed on as the Diamond Pegasus' Senior Director.
In the middle of the 2015 Ramírez joined the Orix Buffaloes as an advisor, mentoring younger players. In October 2015 he was named as the BayStars manager for the 2016 season, replacing Kiyoshi Nakahata who resigned at the end of the 2015 season due to the team's poor performance. In his first season managing, the team finished 69-71-3, finishing third in the Central League, and advancing to the Climax Series, where the BayStars defeated the Yomiuri Giants, 2-1 in the first round before falling to the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, 4-1, in the league championship round. In his second year as manager, the BayStars reached the 2017 Japan Series, but lost to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, 4-2.
|Nippon Professional Baseball|
Statistics current as of November 21, 2014
In February 2013, Alex Ramirez started, with his wife and his son, a restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, called Ramichan Cafe, serving the cuisine of Puerto Rico, where his wife grew up. The restaurant has since closed.
Ramirez is a Christian. Ramirez has spoken about his faith saying, "I believe (continuing to play baseball) is my desire, but it's not my life. God has already blessed me with this career, and whatever God has planned for me, I will be happy to follow that, whether or not I play baseball again. It's not what I want; it's what God wants for me."
As of January 2019, he has naturalised as a Japanese national.
- "BayStars name Ramirez as new manager". 19 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Minor League Player of the Year by Team". The Baseball Cube. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Cabrera, Laffey Receive '07 Honors". Scout.com. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Meyer, Paul (29 July 2000). "Pirates ship Cordero to Indians for Alex Ramirez, Wilson". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- "Alexander Ramírez elegido el Jugador Más Valioso". El Nacional. Associated Press. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
- Lefton, Brad (7 July 2012). "Where No Westerner in Japan Has Gone". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
- Coskrey, Jason (9 April 2013). "Ramirez possibly top foreign-born player ever in NPB". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013.
- Hongo, Jun. "Longtime Baseball Star Alex Ramirez Retires From the Diamond," Wall Street Journal blog (15 October 2014).
- Gen. "Alex Ramirez named Gunma Diamond Pegasus Senior Director," Yakyubaka.com (29 October 2014).
- "Ramirez happy to be back in NPB". 28 June 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- Lider en Deportes. "Álex Ramírez inauguró restaurante en Japón". Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- "Life's Crossroads".
- ""横浜DeNAベイスターズ on Twitter: 昨日から日本人です！"".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alex Ramírez.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors) Warning: Template:Baseballstats cube= parameter should be updated to a numeric value.
- Nippon Professional Baseball career statistics from JapaneseBaseball.com
- Venezuelan Professional Baseball League statistics
- Alex Ramirez Web Site
- Yokohama star Ramírez keeps family close to his heart
- Alex Ramirez "Ramichan Cafe"
|Awards and achievements|
| Indians' Minor League Player of the Year
(the Lou Boudreau Award)