Sunday, September 19, 2010

EX-DIABLOS PITCHER LEAL DEAD AT AGE 67

Former Mexican League right-handed pitcher Felipe Leal died September 15 in Saltillo of a heart attack while coaching a group of university students. Leal was 67.

The Matamoros native starred in baseball and basketball at St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, Texas before becoming an All-American at Pan American University in nearby Edinburg, where Leal tossed a no-hitter, had 16 strikeouts in another contest, set a school record for wins and led PAU to two NAIA playoff berths. He is in the school’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Leal went 18-11 for Mexico City in 1966 before his contract was sold to the Orioles for $35,000. He ended up in the Angels system and tossed a no-hitter in 1967 for their Class AA Texas League affiliate El Paso. Leal returned to Mexico City in 1968 and went on to compile a 116-128 record (including two 18-win seasons) for seven Liga teams before retiring in 1979.