Happy # 84 Orlando Peña

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Orlando Peña was born in Victoria de las Tunas on this day in 1933.   He is part of a shrinking number of Cuban players who played in the pre-Castro pro league in the  island and later in the major leagues.

Orlando broke with the Reds in 1958 and was traded to the Kansas City A’s where he became a regular starting pitcher.

There were several other Cubans in the 1963 A’s: Hector Martinez, Aurelio Monteagudo, Jose Tartabull, Joe Azcue & Diego Segui.

Unfortunately, the A’s had very bad teams but Orlando did win 34 games over 3 and a half seasons. He had 184 strikeouts in 1964 to finish 6th in the AL.

He bounced around after that and I remember watching him with the Orioles in 1973.

Orlando won 56 games but had a very good 3.71 ERA over all of those years.

Happy # 84 Orlando Peña.