Juan “Terín” Pizarro outpitches Whitey Ford in 1961 and Tom Seaver a decade later

Manuel “Lin” Iglesias-Beléndez enjoyed the author’s February 21, 2021 béisbol101.com blog, on Juan “Terín” Pizarro’s outstanding pro baseball career in Puerto Rico, Mexico, five Caribbean Series events, plus Inter-American Series pitching. Terín was one of Lin’s favorite players; and Lin’s favorite [Puerto Rico] team is the Santurce Crabbers. He opined the author should “also include details of Terín’s 2-1 win over the New York Yankees,” on August 15, 1961, noting that:

My father took us to Yankee Stadium, where Terín beat the Yankees, 2-1, beating [Cooperstown] Hall of Famer Whitey Ford and reliever Tite Arroyo. Terín’s only allowed run was Maris’s [HR] no. 46, while pitching all 9 innings, with 10 strikeouts. The Yankees All-Star Team were all there—Richardson, Kubek, Maris, Mantle, Howard, [Clete] Boyer, Ford, Arroyo and Berra. Maybe you (the author) should include this game…it was Terín’s game for the ages. I am sure the fans in Puerto Rico would enjoy reading about this game. Congratulations on your blog. Un abrazo.”

Lin’s twin brother is Santiago “Chago” Iglesias-Beléndez. Chago also has special memories of Terín’s August 15, 1961 performance in the “House that [Babe] Ruth built.” Chago looked up the box score of Terín’s masterpiece and sent it to the author via Facebook Messenger, February 21, 2021. Coincidentally, Chago (1966), Lin (1966) and their three younger siblings—Haydeé (1967), Toño (1971) and Joaquín (1973)—all graduated from Robinson School, in the Condado section of Santurce. The author was a Robinson classmate of Joaquín, class of 1973.

Manuel (Manolín) F. Iglesias Bocanegra (dad) and Santiago Iglesias Pantín (grandfather)

This blog would not be possible without Manuel F. Iglesias—father to five—taking his daughter and four sons to Yankee  Stadium for an August 15, 1961,  Tuesday night game, with paid attendance: 49,059. Who was Manuel, known as “Manolín” to his family and close friends? He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on October 23, 1919, and was the youngest son of Santiago Iglesias Pantín, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in Washington, D.C. during most of the 1930s, until his passing in D.C., December 5, 1939, at 67. (The Resident Commissioner is an elected official, in Puerto Rico, who represents the Island, in Congress, but without power or authority to vote on legislation, as does a Representative—or Senator—from the 50 states.) Per Chago, his grandfather “died while in Congress, after contracting a mosquito-borne disease in Mexico, supposedly asking the Mexican Government to stay in favor of the U.S. in the upcoming War.” Santiago Iglesias Pantín was born, February 22, 1872, the same day this blog was written.

Manolín played varsity baseball at Western High, Washington, D.C., and “was very good,” per his sisters, according to Chago. The patriotic Manolín served honorably in the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) throughout World War II, after successfully acing some written tests. He was assigned to study a new weapon—radar technology—starting with research studies at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, and continuing to Boca Raton, Florida, where the Radar School was established, on the same grounds as today’s Florida Atlantic University.

Manuel F. Iglesias Bocanegra (courtesy of Iglesias-Beléndez Family).

In the late 1950s, Manolín visited the author’s home, Isla Verde section of Carolina. Manolín earned a post-World War II Foreign Relations degree from Georgetown University, in D.C. The author’s mother (Paula Van Hyning) later recalled that Manolín was “so enthusiastic, and well-versed, on so many topics, that he later returned to our home, to continue his conversation with Sam Van Hyning Jr. (the author’s dad).” Sam and Paula were World War II spies with the OSS—Office of Strategic Services, based in Washington, D.C., the same agency that Moe Berg, former AL catcher (1923 and 1926-1939)  was assigned to, for his espionage work. Sam was one of the architects of The Marshall Plan (1947-1952) to rebuild Europe, post-World War II. Sam, Paula, and their four children moved to Puerto Rico, Labor Day weekend, 1956, via a cargo ship, from the port of Baltimore to the port of San Juan. Sam and Paula Van Hyning are interred at Puerto Rico’s National Military Cemetery, in the Hato Tejas section of Bayamón.

Terín Comes Through for Manolín and the “Fab Five” on August 15, 1961

Little did Manolín know that his twin sons (Chago and Lin) would still talk about Terín Pizarro’s pitching exploits at Yankee Stadium, nearly six decades later! Whitey Ford was 20-2 when he threw the first pitch to Venezuelan Luis Aparicio, leading off and playing shortstop, at 8:03 p.m. Aparicio singled, but was caught stealing, Elston Howard to Bobby Richardson. Nellie Fox lined to Tony Kubek; Jim Landis, a Caguas-Rio Piedras Criollos teammate of Terín, part of 1956-57, struck out. (Landis recalled that Terín “threw almost as hard as Koufax, 1956-57,” when Koufax was with Caguas for two months.)

In the Yankees first, Richardson flied out to Landis, winner of five straight AL Gold Gloves, 1960-64. Terín gave up a single to Kubek and walked Maris. Mickey Mantle and Howard flied to RF, to end it. The White Sox scored their only runs in the second—Roy Sievers singled to LF followed by Minnie Miñoso’s double. Al Smith grounded out, 5-3, Boyer-to-Skowron. Andy Carey flied out to LF Héctor López, a Panamanian, who had faced Terín six months earlier, in the Caribbean Series. But catcher Camilo Carreón singled up the middle, to drive in two.

Innings Four-to-Six

Terín, a good-hitting pitcher, singled to CF, in the fourth, with two on, but Mantle’s quick throw kept Al Smith on third. Ford induced Aparicio—only Venezuelan enshrined in Cooperstown—to hit into a 5-2 fielder’s choice, Boyer-to-Howard. Fox—a Cooperstown inductee—bounced out, Kubek-to-Skowron. Then, Maris, in the fourth, drilled a HR to deep RF, for #46. Mantle fanned; Skowron was retired, Fox-to-Sievers; and Skowron struck out. Ford retired the side in the fifth. Terín faltered, walking López and Boyer. Ralph Houk, skipper of the 1956-57 San Juan Senators, let Ford hit away; he popped out to Aparicio. Richardson grounded out; Kubek fanned.

With two on and one out, top of the sixth, Terín drilled a liner snagged by Kubek, who stepped on second, to double-up Al Smith. Terín responded by retiring Maris and Mantle on strikeouts. Howard—who starred for the 1954-55 San Juan Senators—walked, but Skowron (a former 1950-51 Ponce Lion in Puerto Rico, managed by Rogers Hornsby) skied to Miñoso in LF.

Innings Seven-to-Nine

Ford gave up a single to Aparicio and walked Sievers, but Miñoso—who helped 1957-58 Cuba’s Marianao Tigers win the February 1958 Caribbean Series, despite Terín’s record 29 strikeouts in 16.2 innings, grounded out to Richardson. Terín walked Boyer with one out before PH Bob Cerv, hitting for Ford—struck out. (Cerv was Howard’s teammate with the 1954-55 San Juan Senators, and hit a league-leading 19 HR in Puerto Rico.) Then, Richardson bounced out, 1-3. 

Luis “Tite” Arroyo relieved Ford in the eighth. Arroyo once told the author he attended Ford’s 1961 Cy Young Ceremony, when Ford beckoned Tite to the podium, after his (Ford’s) seven-minute speech. “I spoke for two minutes, in English and Spanish,” affirmed Arroyo. “We had a great [Yankee] team in 1961…I saved a league-leading 29 games, many of them for Whitey.”

Tite fanned two, including Terín, while allowing a hit and a walk. New York threatened in the eighth, with a one-out double by Maris, prior to Mantle’s fly to RF and Howard’s pop fly to Carreón. Boyer’s two-out single in the ninth put the tying run on first. Hall of Famer Yogi Berra—who played 1947 spring training games at San Juan’s Sixto Escobar Stadium—hit a fly  caught by 2B Fox, to end the two-hour and 25-minute game. Terín was 8-5, 3.36 ERA, after his four-hitter, with 10 strikeouts and five walks. Ford (20-3) had a 3.25 ERA; Arroyo’s ERA stood at 1.77. “This was the best [Yankee] team I played on,” stated Kubek to the author, October 5, 1991, prior to a Cleveland-New York game. “I loved Arroyo as a teammate…I’m (Kubek) from Milwaukee, and remember that hard-throwing LHP Pizarro, pre-White Sox, with the Braves.”


Terín Blanks the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, September 16, 1971

What are the odds of an LHP, wearing a visiting Chicago uniform, starting, defeating via a CG, two Hall of Fame hurlers, a full decade and one month apart, in the “Big Apple”? Terín, wearing White Sox flannels, bested Whitey Ford, 2-1, on August 15, 1961. Ford (25-4) was the 1961 Cy Young winner for both leagues. (By 1967, this Award was given to separate AL and NL hurlers.) Then, Terín proceeded to do something special, September 16, 1971, at Shea Stadium, which only nine big-league hurlers have done since 1900, just two of them since September 16, 1971—Bob Welch (1983) and Noah Syndergaard (2019), which is:

  • Pitch a CG 1-0 SHO and account for the sole run with a HR.

A 34-year old Terín faced a 1971 Mets team, less than two years from them winning the 1969 World Series. Tom Seaver, 26-year old opposing pitcher, was 18-8, en route to his 20-10 season. The 1969 NL Cy Young winner would win two more of these trophies—in 1973 and 1975. Seaver led the 1971 NL in ERA (1.76) and strikeouts (289), but the Cubs’ Ferguson Jenkins won the 1971 Cy Young Award. (Jenkins pitched two winters in Puerto Rico with Caguas, 1964-66.)

It was 80 degrees Fahrenheit, when 5,174 paid fans saw home plate ump Bruce Froemming yell “Play Ball” to Seaver and Cubs lead-off hitter Cleo James. Neither team could catch first-place Pittsburgh (NL East), eventual World Series champs. The only two Caribbean/Latin American position players were Cubs SS Héctor Torres, from Monterrey, Mexico; and Mets SS Ted Martínez, from Barahona, Dominican Republic. Coincidentally, Torres was a star player for Monterrey’s 1957 and 1958 Little League World Series champions, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Martínez played 2B for the 1970-71 Licey Tigers, first team from the country, to win a Caribbean Series (in Puerto Rico, February 1971.)

Seaver and Terín matched “goose eggs” through seven frames. With one out in the Cubs eighth, Terín slammed a long drive over the RF fence at Shea. The Mets threatened in their half, with a Cleon Jones single, followed by Donn Clendenon’s hit. (Cleon Jones was known in Puerto Rico for playing with the 1967-68 Caguas Criollos, league champs, and other Caguas teams; Clendenon played for Ponce earlier in the decade, leading the Puerto Rico League in doubles.) Leroy Stanton hit into a 4-6-3 double-play, Paul Popovich-to-Héctor Torres-to Pat Bourque. Then, Seaver struck out Torres to end the top of the ninth. Billy Williams, who pinch-hit for LF Brock Davis, in the ninth, moved to LF.

In the Mets ninth, Bob Aspromonte popped out to Bourque. Jerry Grote walked; Bud Harrelson pinch-ran for Grote. Tommie Agee pinch-hit for 2B Tim Foli, and struck out. Finally, Ken Singleton was struck out looking, to end Terín’s gem. (Agee played for Ponce, mid-1960s; Singleton played for the 1970-71 San Juan Senators, managed by Roberto Clemente; Foli flew to  San Juan, post-1971 NL season, to play for the 1971-72 Senators.)


Terín was 7-5 after this win, with a 3.13 ERA; Seaver—18-9, 1.76 ERA. Seaver allowed seven hits, including Terín’s HR. Terín gave up six hits. Both hurlers had eight strikeouts and two walks. The two-hour game ended at 4:05 p.m. local time. “Terín was tough in Puerto Rico and a very good big-league lefty,” said Clendenon. “We were Pittsburgh teammates, too, 1967-1968.” 

Carmen Fanzone, Cubs 3B in Terín’s September 16, 1971 gem, recalled playing 3B for the 1970-71 Licey Tigers, who won the February 1971 Caribbean Series, undefeated (6-0). “That (1970-71) Santurce team was solid with Reggie Jackson, Don Baylor…Terín, Mike Kekich, but it was nice being Terín’s teammate with the [1971] Cubs. He could pitch and he was a good hitter…”

Circling back to Robinson School, a good trivia question is: Which ex-Santurce Crabbers baseball player is the only former big-leaguer to graduate from Robinson School, Santurce, Puerto Rico. Answer: Eduardo Pérez, Robinson, Class of 1987, and the son of Cooperstown Hall of Famer Atanasio “Tany” Pérez, called Tony Pérez, in the States. Twenty-five years later, the author attended Robinson’s 110th Anniversary Celebration. He visited with classmates, including Joaquín Iglesias-Beléndez. Joaquín noted his dad lived in Los Angeles, California, early July 2012. Manuel F. Iglesias Bocanegra passed away a year later, July 13, 2013, in Los Angeles, at 93. His burial was at Arlington (Virginia) National Military Cemetery. “Manolito,” as mentioned earlier, was the reason his children got to see Terín defeat the 1961 New York Yankees, at Yankee Stadium. So, we thank Manolito for his military service, and his interest in sports.

We honor Terín Pizarro’s memory by highlighting his two most memorable big-league starts. Thank you, Terín, for the many conversations we had in Santurce’s Central Park, 1981-to-1984, and for representing Puerto Rico with so much success in Caribbean Series and Inter-American Series events. The author will never forget you wearing #1 for his beloved Santurce Crabbers!

Special thanks and appreciation to Chago and Lin Iglesias-Beléndez for their enthusiasm and fond memories, in sharing what Terín, and the evening of August 15, 1961, meant to them and to Puerto Rico. Thanks to their father, Manuel “Manolín,” for his interest in world affairs, sports, speaking at the author’s High School Graduation Ceremony, and visiting with his parents in Isla Verde. Thanks to the following ex-big leaguers: Luis “Tite” Arroyo, Donn Clendenon, Carmen Fanzone, manager Ralph Houk, Tony Kubek, Jim Landis, Eduardo Pérez and to Jorge Colón Delgado, Official Historian, Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League.

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