(c) Houston Astros

See Also:
Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac

Position: OF      Born: Aug 9, 1930      Bats: Right      Throws: Right

After being signed in Cuba by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Roman Mejias attained considerable success in the Pirate minor league chain. These credentials led to Mejias spending portions of the 1955-1961 seasons with the Pirates. His contract was acquired by the Houston Colt .45s for $75,000 in the 1962 expansion player draft. Mejias was named the Colts' starting right fielder for their debut season. During spring training in 1962, Mejias' slugging (5 HR, 17 RBI) carried the Houston Colts to the championship of the Arizona Cactus League.

On the opening day of the regular season, Mejias belted two three- run homers in the Colts' 11-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs. A sense of modesty, along with his prolific hitting, made Mejias a fan favorite in Houston. By the All-Star break, Mejias ranked third in the National League with 19 HR, 48 RBI and a .311 batting average. However, Roman was not named to the All-Star team, even as a reserve outfielder, and this was a great disappointment to him. Mejias' stats for the second half of the 1962 season were not as impressive (partly due to an injury), but he finished the year with 24 HR, 76 RBI and a .286 batting average.

In November 1962, Houston traded Mejias to the Boston Red Sox for Pete Runnels. The Red Sox organization assisted Roman in bringing his family to America, and this was a great relief for him. However, his 1963 stats were a disappointment (11 HR, 39 RBI, .227 average), and 1964 was even moreso (2 HR, 4 RBI, .238 average). Mejias was released by the Red Sox after the 1964 season. He played minor league baseball for several more seasons, including the 1966 season with the Sankei Atoms in Japan.

-- by Bill Thompson