Note: This page discusses 1970s and 1980s infielder Luis Gómez. For the Spanish national team outfielder of the same name, click here.
Luis Gomez Sanchez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 150 lb.
- School University of California, Los Angeles
- High School Belmont High School (Los Angeles)
- Debut April 28, 1974
- Final Game October 4, 1981
- Born August 19, 1951 in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico
Luis Gomez was the first Mexican native to be selected in Major League Baseball's amateur draft, when the Minnesota Twins picked him out of UCLA in the 1973 amateur draft. He was the first ethnic Mexican to play college ball in the USA as well - previously Mexican native Bob Greenwood had played college baseball in the States.
By 1974, he was playing with the Minnesota Twins as a backup infielder. Noted as a sterling defensive player with limited hitting ability, Gomez never hit a home run in his professional career in either the majors or the minors, a span of over 1750 at-bats. He spent all of 1975, and parts of 1976 and 1977 with Minnesota before declaring free agency and signing with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1975, he played in 89 games without collecting a single extra-base hit, breaking a record held since 1916 by Mike McNally and which still stands.
He was then traded with Chris Chambliss to the Atlanta Braves for Barry Bonnell, Pat Rockett, and Joey McLaughlin. He was Atlanta's most-used shortstop in 1980, hitting .193 in 121 games (with an OBP of .239 and a slugging percentage of .212). The following season - Gomez's last in the majors - he was a utility player, appearing in 35 games for Atlanta at shortstop, third and second, and even making an appearance as a one-game mop-up relief pitcher.
In 1989, he played for the St. Petersburg Pelicans of the Senior Professional Baseball Association and hit .293 (with - of course - no home runs) in 49 games with the club. In 1990, Gomez again played for the St. Petersburg Pelicans; he was batting .340 in 17 games, including pitching 2 scoreless innings, before the league folded. Gomez did not hit a home run in that season either, keeping his life-long professional homerless streak intact.