Jesus I. Feliciano
Jesús I. Feliciano Amadeo (Motora)
- Throws Right
- Height 5' 7", Weight 163 lb.
Jesús Feliciano starred in the Puerto Rican amateur league Doble-A for many years and spent 16 seasons with the Puerto Rican national team, appearing for them in three different decades. He pitched twice in the Olympics. His son, also Jesús Feliciano, would play in the majors.
Feliciano Sr. pitched in the 1977 Intercontinental Cup then won a Bronze with Puerto Rico in the 1978 Central American and Caribbean Games. He led the 1979 Pan American Games with 22 strikeouts as Puerto Rico won the Bronze Medal; other pitchers in the tournament included Cecilio Guante, Craig Lefferts, Tim Leary and Braudilio Vinent. He remained with Puerto Rico for the 1980 Amateur World Series and 1983 Pan American Games. In the 1984 Amateur World Series, the little righty made a team-high 7 pitching appearances for Puerto Rico, going 2-2 with a save and a 4.34 ERA. He beat Wally Whitehurst and Team USA (which included Barry Bonds, and saved James Figueroa's Puerto Rican 5-4 upset of Cuba and Rogelio Garcia, working two shutout innings. Despite those fine efforts, Puerto Rico went home without a medal.
Jesús was with Puerto Rico for the 1986 Amateur World Series. He was 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA to help Puerto Rico win a Bronze in the 1987 Pan American Games. In the 1988 Baseball World Cup, he went 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA, walking 8 in 11 1/3 IP. He tossed a three-hit shutout of the Dutch national team (two hits by Marcel Joost) but was lit up by Team USA in a loss to Jim Abbott. He remained with Puerto Rico for the 1988 Olympics and helped them to a third-place finish. He was 4th in the Seoul Games in ERA, trailing only teammate Figueroa, the USA's Ben McDonald and Japan's Tetsuya Shiozaki; other pitchers in the tournament included Abbott, Andy Benes, Hideo Nomo, Jin-woo Song, Charles Nagy, Yi-Hsin Chen, Takehiro Ishii and Chien-Fu Kuo Lee.
In the 1990 Baseball World Cup, Feliciano had a 1-0, 0.56 record; only Lázaro Valle of Cuba had a lower ERA in that Cup. He shut out Radbony Sanchez and Silver Medalist Nicaragua, 8-0, and topped Team Canada, 2-1. He helped Puerto Rico take the Silver in the 1991 Pan American Games. He was Puerto Rico's oldest player in the 1992 Olympics. On July 27, the old-timer shut out the Dominican Republic for 6 innings before giving up 4 runs in the 7th and giving way to Rafael Santiago, who saved the win. He got another start on August 2, this time against host Spain. He again started strong, blanking Spain for 5 innings; he carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the 6th. He then faded, though, giving up a grand slam to Félix Cano that put Spain ahead. Figueroa replaced him; Puerto Rico retook the lead but blew it and Spain wound up winning, 7-6, in a huge upset.