Perez, Tony (1942–)

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Perez, Tony (1942–)

Tony Perez, born Atanasio Perez Rigal in Ciego de Avila, Cuba, is a baseball player whose accomplishments in the major leagues came both as a player and manager. He gained distinction as a prominent member of the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine," the team that captured three championships during Perez's tenure there. Perez entered professional baseball in the United States at a time when diplomatic relations with Cuba came to a close. Isolated from his country, Perez rose through the ranks and joined the Reds in 1964 to launch what became a Hall of Fame career. With Cincinnati his best year came in 1970 when he hit 40 home runs, drove in 129 runs, and batted .317. He participated in seven All-Star games and was named Most Valuable Player in the 1967 classic. After playing with three other clubs, the Cuba slugger retired in 1983 with a .279 average, 379 home runs, and 1652 runs batted in. Perez briefly managed the Reds (1993) and Marlins (2001) before Florida employed him as special assistant to the general manager. In 2000 Perez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Oleksak, Michael M., and Mary Adams Oleksak. Béisbol: Latin Americans and the Grand Old Game. Grand Rapids, MI: Masters Press, 1991.

Echevarría, Roberto González. The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Regalado, Samuel O. Viva Baseball! Latin Major Leaguers and Their Special Hunger. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998.

                                  Samuel O. Regalado