In one of my recent brilliant posts (about Trevor Hoffman's uniform number) I mentioned Josias Manzanillo, who was the first Brewer to ever wear #51 according to my crack research.
I had not heard of Mr. Manzanillo, so I have spent the past few weeks poring through the archives to find out more. And boy, I'm glad I did.
Without further ado, I give you the rich history of Josias Manzanillo. At least the history that interested me...
July 12, 1988. Pitched the 100th no-hitter in the history of the AA Eastern League.
November 20, 1992. Signed by the Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent.
June 12, 1993. After posting a 9.53 ERA in 10 games for the Brewers in the first half of 1993, Josias is traded by Milwaukee to the New York Mets for Wayne Housie. Housie, as we all recall, was a 5'9", 165 pound outfielder who never reached the big leagues with Milwaukee.
April 8, 1997. Manzanillo, the most courageous player in Mariners history, was involved in the "greatest play in baseball history" according to one source. As the story goes (at least as I've been able to cobble it together from a number of sources), Manzanillo, a reliever for the Mariners, got himself into a little trouble against the Cleveland Indians, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with Manny Ramirez at the plate. Ramirez hit a screaming shot back through the box that hit Manzanillo square in the, um, delicates. Manzanillo crumpled from the impact, then got up, fired home to get the out on Jim Thome trying to score, then went back down again (only to get back up and sprint off the field on his own, then collapse in pain in the dugout). Turns out that Manzanillo wasn't wearing a cup and he ruptured a testicle on the play, leading to surgery attempting to save the nut. There are conflicting reports on the interweb as to whether the testicle had to be removed, but since Larry Stone from the Seattle Times said the play led to a nickname ("half-Manzanillo") for poor Josias, I'm going to assume that doctors were not able to salvage it.
Retired after 2004 season. Career stats include 267 appearances (2 starts), 4.71 ERA, 342 IP, 300 Ks, 13 W, 15 L, 6 Sv. Appeared in the bigs for 8 different major league teams. This wouldn't be the last we'd hear of Josias Manzanillo, however.
December 13, 2007. The Mitchell Report was released. According to the report, Josias Manzanillo has the distinct honor of being the only player who Kirk Radomski personally injected with steroids, according to Radomski. Again according to the report, Manzanillo's lawyer refutes this statement from Radomski, saying that Manzanillo did buy steroids but "chickened out" and never used them.
Thus concludes today's history lesson on Josias Manzanillo. See - history can be fun.