Miguel Olivo enjoyed a solid, if unspectacular major league career as a mostly starting catcher with some pop, averaging 21 home runs and more than 70 RBI over a 162-game season.
The Dominican Republic native retired in 2014 with a respectable 145 lifetime homers. But it was his first round-tripper ever that got plenty of attention.
On this day in béisbol in 2002, Olivo was catching and batting ninth for the White Sox when he stepped up to the plate in the top of the third with two men on base against Yankees great Andy Pettitte — and launched a three-run homer on the second pitch he saw.
Chicago lost the six-inning, rain-shortened game 8-4 despite the Dominican Republic native’s eye-opening debut. He would go on to play 13 years with seven different teams.
Also on this day: In 2008, Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs no-hit the Houston Astros — in Milwaukee. The game, which ended with a 5-0 score, was moved from Houston to Milwaukee’s Miller Park because of Hurricane Ike, and was the first no-hitter in a neutral ballpark in MLB history.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is co-author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo: Jon Konrath — Under Creative Commons License