Raúl Ramón Mondesí Avelino (born March 12, 1971) is a Dominican former politician who was the mayor of San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, and a former professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 13 seasons, primarily for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and made his MLB debut with them in 1993. He was the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year in 1994, an MLB All-Star, and a two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. Known for his combination of power and speed, Mondesí twice achieved the 30–30 club. Also noted for his strong throwing arm, he led right fielders in his league in assists three times while registering over 100 in his career.
Mondesí signing autographs at Spring Training in 1998
|Born: March 12, 1971|
San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic
|July 19, 1993, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 27, 2005, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Runs batted in||860|
|Career highlights and awards|
After baseball, Mondesí began a career in politics, gaining election to the Dominican Chamber of Deputies in 2006. In 2010, he became mayor of San Cristóbal for a six-year term. On September 20, 2017, Mondesí was sentenced to eight years in prison on corruption charges.
Los Angeles DodgersEdit
Mondesí was originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1988 out of the Dominican Republic. With the Great Falls Dodgers in 1990, he hit .303 with 30 stolen bases and was selected to the Pioneer League All-Star team. In 1991, he played in 21 games with the Bakersfield Dodgers, 53 games with the San Antonio Missions, and 2 with the Albuquerque Dukes hitting .277 with 8 home runs and 18 stolen bases. In 1992, he played 18 games with San Antonio and 35 with Albuquerque, hitting .296. He spent all of 1993 with the Dukes, hitting .280 with 12 homers and 13 steals.
He made his Major League debut for the Dodgers on July 19, 1993, against the Philadelphia Phillies, hitting a single to center field as a pinch hitter in seventh inning against David West for his first major league hit. He hit his first home run, a two run shot off Bob Scanlan in the 13th inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs on July 31. He returned to the minors after the August 6 games, but was back with the Dodgers for good in September. He appeared in 42 games that season for the Dodgers, hitting .291 with four home runs.
Mondesí made the Dodgers opening day roster in 1994 and played in 112 games, hitting .306 with 16 homers, 56 RBI, and 11 stolen bases. He was selected as the National League Rookie of the Year.
In 1995, he was twice selected as National League Player of the Week (April 30 and July 5), he won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and was selected to the 1995 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He flew out to right field in his one at-bat in the All-Star game. He also competed in the Home Run Derby. Overall, he hit .285 with 26 home runs, 88 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. He had two hits in nine at-bats for the Dodgers in the 1995 National League Division Series loss to the Cincinnati Reds. He was two for twelve in the 1996 National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, with two doubles.
In 1997, he hit .310 with 30 homers, 88 RBI, and 32 steals becoming the first Dodger player in history to join the 30–30 club. He also won his second Rawlings Gold Glove Award and finished 15th in voting for the National League Most Valuable Player Award. In 1999, he again joined the 30–30 club with 33 homers and 36 steals, though his average had dipped to .253.
Toronto Blue JaysEdit
On November 8, 1999, he was traded by the Dodgers (along with Pedro Borbón Jr.) to the Toronto Blue Jays for Shawn Green and minor league player Jorge Nunez. He only played in 96 games during his first season in Toronto after he tore ligaments in his right elbow during a game on July 21, which required season-ending surgery. He played two and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, playing in 320 games and hitting 66 home runs. He won the American League Player of the Week Award for the week of May 6, 2001.
New York YankeesEdit
Mondesí was traded by the Blue Jays to the New York Yankees on July 1, 2002 for Scott Wiggins. He played in 71 games for the Yankees that season and another 98 in 2003, hitting .250 with 27 home runs and 92 RBI. He had 3 hits in 12 at-bats for the Yankees in the 2002 American League Division Series against the Anaheim Angels.
He signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates on February 24, 2004. By May he was talking of leaving the team for personal reasons, involving a legal dispute, in the Dominican Republic. He left the team on May 11, 2004 and his contract was terminated a week later
The Anaheim Angels signed him on May 30, 2004. The deal was investigated by Major League Baseball, as the circumstances were questionable, but the Angels were cleared of any wrongdoing. Shortly after he signed with the Angels, he tore his quadriceps and was placed on the disabled list. He was released by the Angels in July for not showing up for his rehab therapy.
The Atlanta Braves signed Mondesí in 2005; he appeared in 41 games before the team released him on May 31, 2005.
In May 2006, running on the ballot of the Dominican Liberation Party, he was elected to a seat in the Dominican Republic's Chamber of Deputies, representing his home province San Cristóbal. In November 2007, he switched sides aligning himself with the Dominican Revolutionary Party after discrepancies with the government over humanitarian aid to be given to his province after Tropical Storm Noel. He was elected mayor of his hometown on May 16, 2010, for a six-year term.
- Dodgers vs. Phillies box score July 19, 1993
- Dodgers vs. Cubs boxscore July 31, 1993
- Selig to Investigate Mondesi Deal
- Baxter, Kevin (23 December 2009). "Raul Mondesi is a rising star again -- in Dominican Republic politics". LA Times. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "Raul Mondesi sentenced on corruption charges in Dominican Republic". ESPN.com. 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
| Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie
| Deputy of the Dominican Congress for San Cristobal
| Mayor for San Cristobal
2010 – 2016