Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Jose DeLeon, Former MLB White Sox Pitcher, Dead at 63

Jose DeLeon, Former MLB White Sox Pitcher, Dead at 63

Jose DeLeon, a former Major League Baseball pitcher who had some stellar seasons with the Chicago White Sox, has died at 63 years old. DeLeon, a native of the Dominican Republic, pitched in the big leagues between 1983-95. Besides the White Sox, DeLeon also pitched for Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Montreal.

DeLeon’s death was announced to the public through Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League earlier this week, MLB Trade Rumors reports. There has not been any further word about surviving family members or funeral arrangements. No cause of death has been given as well.

Through sections of 13 seasons, Jose DeLeon worked in nearly 1,900 innings. He posted a 3.76 earned-run average per nine innings. DeLeon struck out close to 1,600 batters and ended up with an 86-119 record for his major league career.

He put together work in four minor-league seasons after being a third-round pick by Pittsburgh in 1979. DeLeon finally found himself on the Pirates’ staff in 1983, where he ended up finishing seventh in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. He posted a 2.83 ERA that season through 15 starts. DeLeon posted an impressive 2.83 ERA and struck out 118 hitters in 108 innings of work.

Jose DeLeon Had Up-And-Down Pirates’ Seasons

But DeLeon found himself having up-and-down seasons in 1984 and ’85 for Pittsburgh. He worked 192 1/3 innings and posted a 3.74 ERA in his second season, then took a nosedive in the following season. DeLeon had a major-league-leading 19 losses and a 4.70 ERA in 1985.

Then, the Pirates traded him in 1986 to the White Sox for Bobby Bonilla, a trade that worked out in Pittsburgh’s favor. Jose DeLeon found a spot in the White Sox rotation in the next year-plus, posting a 2.96 ERA in 1986 and a 4.02 ERA in 1987 after 206 innings of work.

DeLeon found himself back on the trading block, getting sent to St. Louis for outfielder Lance Johnson and relief pitcher Ricky Horton in the 1988 offseason. While pitching for the Cardinals, DeLeon fit nicely in the club’s rotation. He worked more than 225 innings in his first two seasons in 1988 and 1989 with St. Louis. He hit a high note with a career-best season in 1989, notching a 3.05 ERA and a National League-leading 201 strikeouts over 36 starts.

1990 Season Proved to Be Too Much For DeLeon

That all went aside, though, when his 1990 season saw DeLeon lose an MLB-worst 19-game loss total. In 1991, Jose DeLeon rebounded where he notched a 2.71 ERA which was a personal low. He was released by the Cardinals in August 1992.

But he ended up signing with Philadelphia for the rest of that 1992 season. DeLeon then moved into a bullpen role in 1993 for the Phillies.

Well, DeLeon found himself on the move again as the White Sox got him for relief pitcher Bobby Thigpen. With Chicago, he made two relief pitching efforts in postseason play against Toronto, an American League Championship Series that the White Sox lost to the Blue Jays.

After that, DeLeon had two more seasons in the big leagues with both Chicago and the Montreal Expos. DeLeon never got back to the big leagues on an MLB level. His last professional baseball experience as a player was in 1998 in Taiwan.