Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bombo Rivera

Here's Bombo's 1981 Topps card. Career stats: 821 AB, 108 R, 219 H, 10 HR, 83 RBI, .267 AVG. Born 8/2/52 in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Bombo, whose real name is Jesus Manuel Rivera Torres, was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Expos in 1970. He didn't play in the majors until 1975. In 1976 Bombo did alright for the Expos with a .276. However, it wasn't good enough for the 55-107 Expos, who after their last season in Jarry Park (a picture can be found here), was let go. 1977 found Bombo a spectator of Major League Baseball. However, as the saying goes, you can't keep a good Bombo down, so he went on to play for the AAA Denver Bears where he led the American Association with 14 triples. There's no doubt that contributed to the Denver Bears winning their Division that year. This accomplishment didn't escape the eyes of the Minnesota Twins management, so they reached out to Bombo to bring his triple hitting ways to St. Paul for the '78 season. Bombo thanked them and the fans, who he was the darling of, with a .271 avg, 2 triples and a 73-89 season.

Some interesting things you may not know about Bombo is that he has a song written about him called "The Ballad of Bombo Rivera" by Garrison Keillor! (lyrics can be found here) He's also mentioned in W.P. Kinsella's book "Shoeless Joe" (which is the basis for the film "Field of Dreams")


Anonymous said...

never knew garrison keillor was a baseball fan. thanks!

Jason Andersen said...

Neither did I Anon. I knew he was from Minnesota so I guess by default it make him a Twins fan. The lyrics are pretty good I haven't been able to find a sung version of it though.