Posted by Justin Agla | 6/30/2009 11:09:00 AM | Chicago Cubs, Hector Villanueva, Random Retro Cubs
Our "Random Retro Cubs" series is back. This time we take a look at the Cubs former slugging backup catcher Hector Villanueva!
Years Played: 1990-1993.
Teams Played For: Chicago Cubs(90-92), St. Louis Cardinals (1993).
Positions: Catcher (123 games) First Base (26 games), was also used as a pinch hitter quite often for the Cubs between 1990 and 1992.
Career Line: .230 AVG, 53 R, 109 H, 25 HR, 72 RBI, 1 SB, .293 OBP, .442 SLG, .734 OPS.
Best Cubs Season:
1991- .276 AVG, 23 R, 53 H, 13 HR, 32 RBI, 0 SB, 21 BB, 30 K, .346 OBP, .542 SLG, .887 OPS.
Awards/Leaderboard: Never on any leaderboard, except the one in my heart.
Fun Facts: Hector was a huge superstar in Puerto Rico. He was among the best players in the Puerto Rican winter league for years and even became just the 4th player ever to win the triple crown in league history.
It took Hector less than 300 At-Bats to reach 20 career Homers. One of the fastest in Cubs history.
After taking a few years away from playing baseball, Hector came back to play in the independent leagues in 1999 and 2000 and kept his power streak going, hitting 54 HR in around 170 games.
My Take: For whatever crazy reason. Big Hector is one Cub I will never forget. I was just a kid when he was a Cub and I was a HUGE fan. He was a big chubby strong player with a sweet mustache that could absolutely blast the ball. He hit a few huge bombs at Wrigley field during the 1990 and 1991 seasons. My older brothers would often tease me as I sat watching the games saying "Put big Hector in!" When he came up to bat I would get all excited hoping every at bat would be a homer.
I wasn't the only Cubs fan to fall in love with Big Hector as all kinds of signs and cheers would come out whenever he got a chance to hit. A funny looking guy that could hit a ball that far instantly becomes a fan favorite.
And of course who could forget all the ways Harry Caray mispronounced this guys name. He just couldn't say Vaillanueva no matter how many times he tried, from Villa-nuvea, to Vee-uh-nwave, he just couldn't say it. Eventually he just started calling him "Big Hector".
Link To Hector Villanueva's Baseball-Reference Page
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