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If you clicked on the info icon or the "Stats / Notes / Bio" link, you've reached this page which contains notes, memories, trivia and more about Celerino  Sanchez.  If you have anything to add to this player's information, an interesting bit of trivia or a personal memory or story about Celerino, please feel free to share it with us by filling out the form at the bottom of the page. Be sure to include your name and town.

Facts, Trivia, Memories and More about Celerino Sanchez

Transactions

December 6, 1971: Traded by Mexico City Tigers of the Mexican League to the Yankees for Ossie Chavarria.

Biography

Celerino (Perez) Sanchez (February 3, 1944 - May 1, 1992) starred in the Mexican League from 1964 to 1971, primarily with the Mexico City Tigers, failing to hit .300 only once and actually hitting .448 in 1966.[*] before being traded to the New York Yankees in 1972. It had long been Sanchez' dream to play Major League baseball and although Mexico City refused to let him out of his contract, he threatened to retire if not traded.[*]

Celerino hit well during the spring as a non-roster invitee, but because of an awful deal during the off-season that had Rich McKinney slated in as the third baseman, Sanchez started the season in AAA Syracuse.  After spending a few months in Syracuse where he hit .327 with 3 HR and 28 RBI, Sanchez joined the Yankees in June 1972 when McKinney quickly fell out of favor with fans and management alike.  This was due mostly to the fact McKinney couldn't handle the hot corner, having spent most of his career at second base.  A game featuring four errors and a .216 batting average signalled a change had to be made.

Sanchez debuted on June 13th with an 0-for-3, and was the Yankees regular third baseman for the rest of the year and for a period starting in August became a fan favorite.  It wasn't necessarily his bat (.248, 0 HR and 22 RBI) that one over the fans, but rather the timing of some of hits and defensive plays.  In the first game of a four game series against first place Detroit on August 8th, Sanchez drove home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth with a sac fly. The Yanks would go on to win 4-2, to pull within three games.  The next day in the second game of a double header, Sanchez drove home two runs in the bottom of the 7th, with the Yanks trailing 1-0, then made a sharp fielding play in the top of the 8th to help preserve the 2-1 victory.[*] Two days later, he broke a 3-3 tie with the Milwaukee Brewers when he smacked an RBI triple in the bottom of the 6th.  A game the Yankees would win 10-6.

In 1973, the Yankees' acquisition of Graig Nettles relegated Sanchez to a backup role. He would play in only 34 games, sporting a .219 AVG. He was released after the season and returned to the Mexican Leagues in 1974, where he remained until retiring in 1979.

Highlights

August 27, 1972: Celerino goes 4-for-8 with three doubles, two runs scored and two RBI in a 16-inning marathon against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium.  The Yankees carried a 6-1 lead heading into 8th when the Royals scored 4 runs in that inning, followed by 3 in the ninth to take an 8-6 lead.  In the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees rallied, with a two-out RBI double by Sanchez and an RBI single by Thurman Munson, scoring Sanchez, to tie the game.  Each team mounted a few threats for the next six innings, but came up empty.  Sanchez led of the bottom of the 16th with his third two-bagger of the game and moved to second after an intentional walk to Jerry Kenney (1-for-7 on the day, so it's hard to figure that strategy.)  Gene Michael, pinch-hitting, sacrificed the two baserunners over and Horace Clarke responded with a sacrifice fly to score Sanchez, ending the 4 hour, 48 minute affair.


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