Friday, November 13, 2009


One of the longtime stars of the Hermosillo Naranjeros was scheduled to have his number retired by the team before a November 13 home game against Obregon. Cornelio Garcia’s number 23 was to be laid to rest prior to Friday’s first pitch.

Garcia spent 19 winters in an Orangemen uniform, and was well-respected among Mexican fanaticos as a smooth-swinging hit machine. Longtime Mexican baseball figure Carlos Fragoso, who grew up in Obregon and now does some scouting for the New York Yankees, likens Garcia to ex-major leaguer Vic Davalillo as a hitter. Garcia ended his Mex Pac career in 2005 after collecting 1,011 hits in 1,010 games for a lifetime winter average of .288. Although he wasn’t a power hitter, Garcia stole 151 bases as a member of five LMP championship teams.

Born in 1955 in Ensenada, Garcia was the first player ever drafted out of the National Baseball Academy in Monterrey in 1984. He spent time in the Chicago White Sox minor league system before returning to Mexico in 1990. He spent several summers in the Mexican League with Yucatan, Monterrey and Laguna, including a ten-year stretch in which he never hit below .330 (including a Liga-leading .382 average for the Sultanes in 1997.

Garcia becomes the ninth Hermosillo player to have his number retired.

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