Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bo Diaz Not Forgotten

Baudilio Jose Diaz Seijas , best known as Bo Diaz was a hard-playing catcher with a solid batting eye and played in the major leagues for 13 seasons. He broke into the majors as a 24-year old from Venezuela in 1977. He played part-time with the Red Sox in 1977 and with Cleveland from 1978 thru 1980. Diaz was the Indians' fist-string catcher in 1981 and responded by hitting .313, and made the American League's All-Star team. In 1982 he was traded to the Phillies and his toughness behind home plate and his ability to frame pitches for the team's pitching staff vaulted Philadelphia to a second place finish in the NL East, and his hitting also played a big role in the Phillies success during this time-frame.
In 1982, Bo Diaz hit a solid .288, rapped 29 doubles into the outfield gaps, 18 homers into the stands, and had 85 clutch RBIs. In 1983, the year the Phillies went to the World Series, Diaz played in 136 games, struck out just 57 times in 471 at bats, lined 17 doubles and 15 homers, with 64 RBIs. However, he injured his knees and played with taped-up, heavily scarred and swollen knees for the rest of his career. Due to his knee injuries he played just 25 games in 1985 and was traded to Cincinnati the next season and took over the starting backstop duties once more.
Swollen knees and all, the well-liked Bo Diaz was one of the leading National League catchers in his years with the Reds, who finished in second place in the NL West for three straight seasons - 1986-1988. In 134 games in 1986, he hit .272 and pounded 31 extra base hits... in 1987, he enjoyed one of his best batting seasons - .277 batting average, 28 doubles, 15 home runs, and was selected for the second time for the All-Star team. His last full-time season came in 1988, when he played in 92 games. Bo Diaz career record: .255 BA, 834 hits in 3,274 at-bats, 162 Ds, 87Hr, 327 Runs, 452 RBIs and a solid .300 on-base-pct...

In November of 1990, just 37-years old, Diaz died tragically. There are 2 different explanations for Bo's Death. One source reported that Diaz died when he was struck by lightning while installing a satellite dish on his home in Venezuela. Another source reported that Bo Diaz was killed when he was crushed by a satellite dish on the roof of his home in Caracas, Venezuela. Bo was attempting to adjust the dish, which apparently was knocked off line by high winds, a Caracas TV station reported. Jose Gonzalez, an official of the Caracas morgue, said the 37-year-old Diaz died instantly when the dish collapsed, crushing his neck and skull against the base of the dish.

Still to this day the 2 speculated stories are circulating about Bo's death. Which are we to believe? Either way Bo Diaz was a historic ball player in my eyes and he will never be forgotten.


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