Luís Saint-Claire

From BR Bullpen

Luís Saint-Claire Cábel
(Güigüí Lucas, El Americano)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

Biographical Information[edit]

Luís Saint-Claire was the brother of José Saint-Claire and Víctor Saint-Claire.

Saint-Claire was on the Dominican national team in the 1941 Amateur World Series, 1942 Amateur World Series (winning Silver) and the 1943 Amateur World Series (Bronze). A 1945 poll named him the best catcher in the history of the Dominican Republic. He played in Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

When the Venezuelan League formed in 1946, he played for the Patriotas de Venezuela, hitting .272 and slugging .412 with 20 RBI in 32 games. He was 7th in RBI and tied for 7th in doubles (6). He batted .339/?/.400 in 1946-47. Among players with 100+ AB, he was 4th in average, between Marvin Williams and Ramón Fernández. He tied Luis Aparicio Sr. for 10th in hits (39).

For the 1947-1948 Patriotas, he hit .314/?/.463 with 26 runs and 9 doubles in 33 games. He was 8th in runs (between Lester Lockett and Luis Oliveros), 6th in two-baggers, tied for 8th in home runs (3), 10th in average (among those with 100+ AB) and 7th in slugging among those with 100+ AB. He fell to .273 in 1948-1949 but slugged .495 and scored 23 times in 29 contests. He tied Dalmiro Finol for 5th in runs, tied Antonio Brinez and Finol for 8th in doubles (6), was 3rd in homers (4, behind Jim Pendleton and Finol) and tied José Zardon for 4th with 12 extra-base hits.

He then moved on to Puerto Rico. He was the starting catcher for the Criollos de Caguas in the 1950 Caribbean Series, hitting .182. In the 1951 Caribbean Series, he started for the champion Santurce Crabbers, batting .200 and slugging .240 but scored six runs to tie for third, one behind Junior Gilliam and Stan Breard. He was 3 for 16 with a RBI for the Senadores de San Juan in the 1952 Caribbean Series. He was 0 for 3 in the 1954 Caribbean Series, backing up Mickey Owen for Caguas.

He returned to Venezuela in 1954-1955 and hit .313/?/.391 for the Navegantes del Magallanes, driving in 21 in 36 games. The veteran finished 9th in RBI and 5th in average among those with 100+ AB (between Dave Pope and George Wilson). In the 1955 Caribbean Series, he went 5 for 18 with a double, five runs and five RBI for Magallanes. He tied Wilson for 3rd in RBI, behind Willie Mays and Gus Triandos and tied Chico Carrasquel for 4th in runs, behind Roberto Clemente, Mays and Don Zimmer. His five Caribbean Series appearances were easily the most of any Dominican before the Republic began sending teams to the Series in 1970; no other Dominican player appeared in more than two.

He hit .294 for the 1956-1957 Leones del Escogido, at age 39, in his only season in the Dominican League. In 161 games in Venezuela, he had hit .303/?/.430 with 33 doubles, 91 runs and 77 RBI; all of this was at age 28 or later. In 1972, he was again voted the best catcher in Dominican history in a poll. He was named to the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame in 1974, the same year as his brother. He was inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022 alongside David Ortiz, Tony Batista and Juanchy Sánchez.


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