Conrado Marrero, Oldest Living Ex-MLB Player, Passes Away at 102

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 23, 2014

In this April 23, 2013 photo, Cuba's former pitcher Conrado Marrero, the world's oldest living former major league baseball player, holds up a baseball with his signature at his home, two days before is 102nd birthday, as he holds an unlit cigar in his mouth in Havana, Cuba. In addition to his longevity, the former Washington Senator has much to celebrate this year. After a long wait, he finally received a $20,000 payout from Major League baseball granted to old-timers who played between 1947 and 1979. The money had been held up since 2011 due to issues surrounding the 51-year-old U.S. embargo on Cuba, which prohibits most bank transfers to the Communist-run island. But the payout finally arrived in two parts, one at the end of last year, and the second a few months ago, according to Marrero's family. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)
Franklin Reyes

Former Major League Baseball player Conrado Marrero, who became the oldest living former player in February 2011, passed away at the age of 102 on Wednesday in Havana, Cuba, according to Daniel Trotta of Reuters.    

A native of Cuba, Marrero, who was born on April 25, 1911, would have turned 103 on Friday. 

Marrero's grandson, Rogelio Marrero, said the former Washington Senators pitcher died in the early afternoon, per the The Associated Press (via The Washington Times):

“He woke up in the morning and it was like he wasn’t there. He wasn’t reacting."

Marrero, who stood just 5'5", weighed only 158 pounds and went by the nickname "Connie," pitched five seasons for the Senators in the 1950s. According to, the undersized right-hander recorded 297 strikeouts and finished with a career record of 39-40, 3.67 ERA and 51 complete games.

Franklin Reyes

After a standout career in Cuba during the 1930s and 40s, Marrero was signed by the Senators in 1947 and made his major-league debut as a 39-year-old in 1950 and played until 1954. Marrero earned All-Star honors in 1951 and received votes for the American League MVP voting in 1952.'s Doug Miller discussed Marrero's legacy following his 102nd birthday in 2013:

Marrero was best known as a lovable character of the game, a man who came from pre-revolution Cuba and didn't make it to the big leagues until he was 39. He won 11 games two years in a row, and he was on the American League roster for the 1951 Midsummer Classic, although he didn't pitch, having worked the day before. He had a windmill windup and he was known to enjoy a cigar or two.

Marrero had become the oldest living former major-league ballplayer following Tony Malinosky's death three years ago, per the AP (via The Washington Times). Malinosky was 101 at the time of his death on Feb. 8, 2011.

Despite having been away from MLB for nearly 60 years, Marrero left a lasting legacy in five seasons in the big leagues. His unique arsenal of pitches allowed him to overwhelm opponents despite lacking power, and his success with Washington no doubt inspired other undersized prospects.

Although he's little-known to generations of baseball fans, Marrero's passing marks a somber day in the sports world, especially for those members of the MLB fraternity. 

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