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Former Reds Friday: Rolando Roomes

July 10, 2009
Rolando Roomes and Joe Giradri Chicago Cubs 1989 Fleer No. 644

Rolando Roomes and Joe Giradri Chicago Cubs 1989 Fleer No. 644

Editor’s Note: While Former Reds Friday is normally reserved for a look at a former Red, today’s edition highlights a pre-Reds card.

Rolando Roomes started out on a tare with the Cincinnati Reds in 1989 until National League hurlers figured out he could not hit a curve ball.

In 1989, Roomes was featured as a Major League Prospect by Fleer while with the Chicago Cubs along with catcher Joe Girardi. The two clearly went in opposite directions. Girardi went on to become an all-star catcher, broadcaster and is currently the manager of the New York Yankees.

Rolando Roomes and Joe Giradri  Chicago Cubs 1989 Fleer No. 644 back

Rolando Roomes and Joe Giradri Chicago Cubs 1989 Fleer No. 644 back

Roomes was traded by the Cubs in December 1988 for Lloyd McClendon. McClendon played an important role in helping the Cubs win the 1989 National League Eastern Division, according to Just One Bad Century.

After reaching Cincy, he tied a Major League record with fewest walks in a 100 strikeout season. He walked just 13 times and struck out 100.  During that season, hit .263 and slugged .419, both numbers better than the team average. Roomes also played in 30 games for the Reds in 1990 before being released.

Roomes, who was  selected off waivers by Montreal Expos in 1990, is one of only a few players to make the transition from cricket to baseball. He was one of of the first three major leaguers born in Jamaica; the other two were all-stars Chili Davis and Devon White.

After appearing in just 16 games with the Expos, Rooms was out of baseball for good following the 1990 season.

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