Alex Cabrera

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Alex Cabrera (born December 24, 1971 in Caripito, Sucre State, Venezuela) is a first baseman and right-handed batter who played in Major League Baseball for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Currently, he plays baseball in Japan.

Cabrera was signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1991, and moved to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays before the 1998 season. Later he was transferred to Arizona. After staying in the minors for nine seasons, he finally got a shot in the majors in 2000. A muscular slugger (6' 2", 220 lb.), Cabrera hit a home run during his first at bat. He ended the season with a .262 average, five home runs, 14 RBI, 10 runs, two doubles, one triple and a .500 slugging average in 31 games. After that, the Seibu Lions of the Japan Pacific League purchased his contract from Arizona.

In 2001 Cabrera batted .282, with 49 HR and 124 RBI, and exploded with .336, 55, 115 in 2002, winning the Pacific League's MVP award. His 55 home runs tied Japan's single-season record, equaling the mark set by the legendary Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and matched by former big leaguer Tuffy Rhodes in 2001. Like Rhodes, Cabrera would see few good pitches for the remaining games after tying the record. He maintained his form in 2003, batting for .324, 50, 112.

On October 26, 2004 pitcher Takashi Ishii went six strong innings and Cabrera hit a two-run towering homer as the Seibu Lions defeated the Chunichi Dragons 7-2 in Game 7 of the Japan Series to win their first championship since 1992. The ball bounced off the glass-enclosed private boxes above the left field seats. It was Cabrera's third home run of the series. He also hit a grand slam and a two-run homer in Game 3.

In four seasons with the Lions, Cabrera is a .308 hitter with 179 home runs and 413 RBI in 755 games.

Alex Cabrera is certainly among the most respected Latin ballplayers, despite his move from major leagues to Japanese baseball.

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