Bo Diaz

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Baudilio José Díaz Seijas (March 23, 1953-November 23, 1990), best known as Bo Diaz, was a popular baseball catcher in the 1980s. He was born in Cúa, Miranda, Venezuela.

Defensively, Diaz was strong in every area of the game. He took responsibility for getting the most out of his pitchers, and worked hard at ensuring their success. His pitch-blocking skills were top-notch, and his throws were strong and accurate.

A right-handed batter, he was capable of hitting the ball hard to any part of the park with some pop, and he was especially dangerous on the first pitch. Perhaps due to the physical demands of catching and his willingness to play if he's at all able to, he was suffered several injuries during his career.

A two-time All-Star, Bo Diaz was a disciplined player in his early years. At fourteen, he played on a national champion Little League team that missed a trip to the Little League World Series when an earthquake devastated Caracas in 1967. Three years later he was signed by Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent. Diaz started his career in the '71 Venezuelan winter season and had to wait until 1977 to play with Boston, and had only one at-bat. In 1978 he was sent to the Cleveland Indians in a six player trade that included pitcher Dennis Eckersley, who won 20 games for Boston that year. With Cleveland, Diaz spent four years as the backup to Ron Hassey until an injury to Hassey made him the Indians' starting catcher early in 1981. He hit .313 with seven homers and 38 RBI in 63 games and played in the '81 All-Star Game as well, but he sprained his wrist and missed the rest of the season.

Diaz was traded in 1982 to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he set career highs in batting average (.288), home runs (18) and RBI (85). His defense was crucial to pitcher Steve Carlton, who won his fourth Cy Young Award that year. In 1983 the Phillies crushed the Chicago Cubs 13-6, clinching the NL East Division by winning 12 of 13 games. Diaz lead the attack batting 5-for-5 with a pair of home runs. After dispatching the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League championship, Philadelphia lost the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles in five games. Meanwhile, Diaz shone on defense and his .333 was the team's best average. He lost regular job to Ozzie Virgil, Jr. during injury-marred 1984, when he missed 135 games and was rehabilitating his knee in minors.

In 1985 Diaz was given a new lease on life by midseason swap that brought him to the Cincinnati Reds. He had been languishing on Phillies' bench behind Virgil, batting .211, with two home runs and 16 runs batted in only 26 games played. With the Reds, Diaz joined with his fellow countryman Dave Concepcion and his long-time friend Pete Rose. Diaz finished well with his new club, batting .318 in a 34-game stint through end of September.

The following two years were healthy seasons for the Venezuelan when his chronically sore knees did not bother him. He caught 134 games in 1986 and 140 in 1987, batting .272, 10, 56 and .270, 15, 82 respectively. On June 27, 1986, Diaz was part of an unusual occurrence when San Francisco Giants second baseman Robby Thompson was caught stealing four times, establishing a new MLB record with Thompson being thrown out by Diaz in the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 11th innings.

Considered the best catcher born in Venezuela ever, Diaz played exclusively for the Leones del Caracas team in the Venezuelan Winter League (1972 - 1990), combining a fiery offensive combo along with slugger Tony Armas. During his permanence in the league, Diaz bat for .281, with 265 runs scored, 290 runs batted in, 79 doubles, seven triples, and 57 home runs, in 537 games played. In 1979 Diaz set a new mark of home runs with 20, a record that still stands for a season.

Finally, he could be the only catcher in the baseball history to reach an incredible achievement happened in this league. On January 6, 1973, Diaz joined forces with minor league pitcher Urbano Lugo, Sr., in a no-hit-no-run game when the Leones del Caracas trip the Tiburones de La Guaira 6-0. Thirteen years later, on January 24, 1986, Diaz was the catcher for another no-no in a 4-0 Caracas' victory over La Guaira. This time, the pitcher was Urbano Lugo, Jr. Call it coincidence or destiny, there was nothing else that a pair of no-hit-no run games, both winner and loser teams, father and son as hurlers, and twice, the same catcher: Bo Diaz.

On November 23, 1990, Diaz was killed by a satellite dish that he was adjusting on the roof of his home in Caracas, Venezuela that fell on him. He was 37 years old.

As time goes by, Bo Diaz continues being beloved by the Venezuelan baseball fans.

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