José Acosta

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Note: This page discusses 1920s pitcher José Acosta. For others with the same name, click here.

José Acosta

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 6", Weight 134 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

José Acosta, an early Cuban big leaguer, played in the Negro Leagues and the major leagues.

José went 5-1 in the 1913-14 Cuban Winter League and was 1-0 in a series against the New York Lincoln Giants. In 1914-15, he went 8-3 in the CWL, placing him second to Dolf Luque in victories. The next year, he was 2-1. Acosta played for the Long Branch Cubans, pitching for them in 1914-15 and played for the Vancouver Beavers in 1916 and 1917 after Jack Calvo, another Cuban, recommended him. Acosta later played in the Pacific Coast League. 1918-19's winter league season had him at 8-3, second to Luque in wins again. In 1919, he pitched a 3-hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during a winter tour. In 1919-20, he was 6-3 in the winter season, posting the top record.

His major league career started at age 29, when he played two seasons for the Washington Senators. Each season, he went 5-4, pitching mostly in relief. He was just 2-8 in the winters from 1921-1923 in Cuba. In 1922, he appeared in 5 games with the Chicago White Sox, his final taste of the bigs. He had a 10-10, 4.51 line (88 ERA+) overall in the majors. Acosta also went 0-2 with a 10.93 ERA for the Kansas City Blues that year and was 7-5 with a 3.47 ERA for the Mobile Bears. In 1923, Acosta went 11-8 with a nearly identical 3.48 ERA for Mobile. He was 4-1 in Cuba in 1923-24 and, in 1924, went 15-13 with a 3.72 ERA in his third season for the Bears. In 1924-25, he was 2-1 in Cuban winter play and followed with a 14-19, 3.73 season for Mobile, leading the Southern Association in losses. In 1928, José went 14-6 with a 4.10 ERA for the High Point Pointers, then after an 0-4 winter, went 9-15 with a 4.72 ERA for the Pointers to complete his career in Organized Baseball.

His height, just 5'6", was apparently a stumbling block for some managers that expected bigger players. Even with this "handicap", he apparently led the Cuban League in winning percentage four times. He is also said to have played with the legendary Oscar Charleston in 1924-25 and 1926-27 on Cuban teams. He was listed for a long time as the brother of Merito Acosta, but in fact the two contemporary players were not related, as confirmed by Merito's daughter to a SABR researcher years later.

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