Sandy Ullrich

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Carlos Santiago Ullrich Castello

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Biographical Information[edit]

Cuban pitcher Sandy Ullrich spent nine active summers in professional baseball from 1944 to 1954 and also played winter ball in the 1940s and 1950s. He spent one year and part of another in the majors and led his leagues in wins once and ERA once during his career.

Ullrich debuted with Habana in 1940-1941, getting no record in two decisions. He was 1-2 in 1941-1942. In 1942-1943, he improved to 6-3 after signing on with Almendares. He was the fourth-most used hurler (16 games) on their run to the title, behind Ramón Bragaña, Agapito Mayor and Tommy de la Cruz. In the summer of 1943, he had a 14-14, 4.53 record between the Mexico City Red Devils and Puebla Parrots, walking 110 in 222 1/3 IP.

He had his best winter in Cuba during 1943-1944, going 12-6. He tied Cocaina Garcia for the league lead in wins.

The Washington Senators' famed scout Joe Cambria signed Ullrich. He made his Major League debut with the Senators on May 3, 1944, finishing up a 11-10 loss to the Red Sox. He allowed one run on 3 hits in 2 1/3 IP after relieving Roger Wolff; he had the best day of any of the four Senators hurlers to see action. He appeared in two more games with no decisions for the 1944 Senators, getting toasted for 10 runs on 17 hits in 9 2/3 IP for the month. Sandy spent the rest of the 1944 season with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the class A1 Southern Association winning 5 and losing 6 in 12 games with a 3.49 ERA.

After having been Almendares' ace in 1943-1944, he rarely pitched in 1944-1945, going 1-0 with a 3.07 ERA as his team won the title. Ullrich was back in the Major Leagues with the 1945 Senators, appearing in 28 games (6 starts) with a 3-3 record and a 4.54 ERA while pitching 81 1/3 innings. He hit well, going 6 for 22 with a double and a walk. He led 1945 AL pitchers with a perfect fielding percentage. This was his his final campaign in the big leagues and he finished out with career numbers of 3-3 with a 5.04 ERA while appearing in 31 games and pitching 91 innings.

In the winter of 1945-1946, Santiago was only 2-3 for Almendares. He did not pitch in the summer of '46. He pitched only six games for them in 1946-1947 as they won the pennant; he had no decisions and walked eight in 8 1/3 IP. In the summer of 1947, he was very sharp for the Tampico Lightermen, going 11-5 with a 2.64 ERA. He led the Mexican League in ERA, .07 ahead of runner-up Fred Martin. Among those he beat out were de la Cruz, Sal Maglie, Martin Dihigo, Alex Carrasquel and Leon Day.

In 1947-1948, he went 6-1 for the Leones as they won the Cuban Players League. He would not pitch in Cuba over the next three winters. In the summer of '48, he fell to 7-10, 3.13 in Mexico, pitching for Tampico and the Veracruz Blues. He was out of baseball apparently in 1949. In the 1950 Caribbean Series, he got the only win for Venezuela's Magallanes Navigators.

In the summer of 1950, Sandy pitched for the Havana Cubans, going 17-10 with a 2.30 ERA while pitching 227 innings in 38 games. He only walked 39, showing great progress in control. As the Florida International League was a pitcher-friendly loop, he did not make the top 10 in ERA, ranking this well below his 1947 season even though the numbers look superficially better. For the 1951 Cubans, the right-hander had a 16-10, 2.25 record. This time, he made the FIL's top 10 in both ERA and wins.

In 1951-1952, Ullrich was back in the Cuban Winter League, posting a 5-7, 2.70 record for Cienfuegos. In 1952, he was with the Cubans (8-4, 1.45) and the Chattanooga Lookouts (0-1, 3.38). His 1.45 ERA was only good for 6th in the pitcher-friendly Florida International League.

The Havana native bombed for Cienfuegos in 1952-1953, with a 8.11 ERA in two games. He did not play that summer, then had a 7.88 ERA in eight contests for Cienfuegos in 1953-1954. After two awful winters, he took one last crack at summer ball but was just 2-10 with a 6.00 ERA in the 1954 Mexican League and 0-1 for the Tampa Smokers. He was 1-0 with no earned runs in six innings for the 1954-1955 Marianao Tigers but walked eight and ended his career.

Overall, Sandy was 34-39 with a 3.87 ERA in 120 Mexican League games and 34-22 in his native Cuba's top loop. In the US minors, he was 46-32. Combined with his MLB stats, that gives him a cumulative professional record of 117-96.

In 1997, Ullrich was inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame. Sandy died on April 21, 2001 in Miami, FL. He was 79 years of age.


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