Friday, May 15, 2009

1976 Topps #77 - Pedro Borbon

Pedro Borbon was a solid setup man for the Reds in the 1970s. He started out with the California Angels in 1969 and was acquired by the Reds as part of the Alex Johnson trade before the 1970 season. Pedro split time between the Reds and the minor league Indianapolis team in 1970 and 1971 and was in the bigs to stay by 1972. He had a nice year in 1972, going 8-3 with a 3.17 ERA and 11 saves. His best year was probably 1973 when he went 11-4 with 14 saves and a 2.16 ERA. In the famous Pete Rose-Bud Harrelson fight, Pedro ripped a Mets cap with his teeth.
Borbon averaged almost two innings per appearance throughout the 1970s. He had solid years from 1972-1977, but fell off a bit in 1978. He was 8-2, but his ERA jumped to 4.98. In the middle of the 1979 season he was traded to San Francisco for Hector Cruz. He was released by the Giants on April 3, 1980 and he signed with the Cardinals on April 30. The Cardinals released him on May 27 and that was it for Pedro.
From his Wikipedia entry:
  • A local Cincinnati urban legend claims that Borbon, incensed about being traded from the Reds in 1979, placed a voodoo losing curse on the Reds until the last member of the Reds front office management left in 1990. In 2002, Borbon admitted that this was a hoax.

From his entry at

  • An unabashed cockfighting enthusiast, macho Borbon reportedly could warm up faster and throw a ball farther than anyone else in the NL during the mid-1970s when he was a top reliever for Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine." He liked to show off by throwing strikes to home plate from the center field warning track during batting practice.

His son, Pedro Borbon Jr., pitched in the majors from 1992-2003.


  1. My #1 memory of Pedro:

    "I've got to concentrate (concentrate)"

    "Hello? (Hello?)"

    "Echo (echo)"

    "Now pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon...Manny Mota (Mota)"

  2. Another great Borbon story is that during the Bud Harrelson-Pete Rose fight in the 1973 NLCS, Borbon somehow got a Mets hat in the melee.

    When he realized that he had a Mets and not Reds hat, he took the brim in his teeth and ripped it from the rest of the hat.

    You definately didn't want to get him mad.