Obit of the Day: The Oldest Living Major League Baseball Player
Conrado “Connie” Marrero played all of five seasons of major league baseball. Pitching for the woeful Washington Senators, Mr. Marrero compiled a 39-40 career won-loss record, but earned a spot on the 1951 American League All-Star team and even a 1952 MVP vote.
Unusual for baseball, Mr. Marrero was a 39-year-old rookie in 1950 having coming up from the Havana Cubans where he won the Florida International League MVP going 25-8 and pitching a league-record 44 scoreless innings.
He was proud of his rural upbringing and was nicknamed “El Guajiro de Laberinto,” “The Peasant from Leberinto” during his years playing in Cuban amateur and professional leagues. Squat, stading at only five feet, five inches tall and weighing 158 pounds, Mr. Marrero was known for his mix of sliders and curves.
Mr. Marrero’s major league career ended after the 1954 season when he was the oldest active player at age 43. He returned to Cuba where he managed the Havana Sugar Kings of the Cuban League. When Fidel Castro took control in 1959, Mr. Marrero remained in Cuba and lived out the remainder of his life there.
In 1999 when the Baltimore Orioles came to Cuba for an exhibition series against the Cuban national team, Mr. Marrero threw out the first pitch.
Conrado Marrero died on April 23, 2014 at the age of 102 - two days shy of his 103rd birthday. Upon Mr. Marrero’s death, veteran infielder Mike Sandlock is now the oldest living ex-major leaguer at 98.
On his day off, Ferris Bueller had quite the adventure. From “borrowing” the 1961 Ferrari 250GT of his best friend’s unforgiving father to visiting both the Sears Tower and the Art Institute and finally to singing “Danke Schön” and “Twist and Shout” in front of thousands of Chicagoans, it’s fair to say that no one ever had a day off quite like it.
On Ferris’s agenda that afternoon was, naturally, a trip to Wrigley Field. After grabbing a bite to eat (as “Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago”) at a snooty Magnificent Mile restaurant, Ferris and pals headed to the stadium to catch a ballgame.
George Van Haltren (1866-1945), aka “Rip”: Centerfielder, pitcher, and shortstop; career ran from 1887-1909; played with the Giants, Orioles, White Stockings, Pirates, Ward’s Wonders. Named readers’ favorite player from New York and Brooklyn in 1894 poll conducted by the New York Mercury.
Photo: William M. Vander Weyde via George Eastman House Collection