|SteepleCats Welcome Pedro Sierra To Joe Wolfe Field On Sunday|
|By John Wood, North Adams SteepleCats|
08:43AM / Friday, July 20, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — As the New England Collegiate Baseball League season nears its end, the North Adams SteepleCats will welcome former Negro League and Major League Baseball player Pedro Sierra as a special guest at their last Sunday home game of the season on July 22nd.
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1938, Sierra joined the Negro Leagues at age 16 as a member of the Indianapolis Clowns in 1954. The following three years Sierra spent time on the Detroit Stars, one of the four remaining Negro League teams at the time. As the Stars didn’t have a stadium of their own, they played in Briggs Stadium, the home of the Detroit Tigers, when that team was on the road.
While records of the Negro Leagues are a little sketchy, Pedro proved to be a dominant pitcher as he played in the Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Game in 1956.
As travel wore out Sierra, he left his team following the 1956 season. Yet Pedro received his ultimate break in 1959, as the Washington Senators signed him, sending him to their Class D team in Lynchburg, Va. Unfortunately for Sierra, the U.S. Army drafted him that same year.
While serving three years in the military, Sierra pitched for the U.S. Army team in 1961, boasting a 17-5 record with a 1.75 ERA.
After his tour, Pedro returned to baseball and played five years in the minors for the Minnesota Twins until 1966. Sierra then spent 1967-1969 above the border, pitching in the Provinciale League, in Quebec, Canada.
Yet even with all these accolades, Sierra is no stranger to baseball in Berkshire County. After leading the Provinciale League in wins with 14, shutouts with 4, and being selected to the All-Star game three years in a row, former Red Sox and then Washington Senator's manager Ted Williams gave him a tryout and signed him the very same day.
Following his time in spring training in 1970, Pedro was assigned to the Pittsfield Senators, an AA baseball team who happened to call Wahconah Park home. During his first season in Pittsfield, Sierra held a 3.66 ERA over 123 innings pitched while striking out 65. Pedro finally joined the Washington Senators as a batting practice pitcher at the end of the season.
After spending three more years in baseball down in the Mexican League, Sierra retired from the game at the age of 32. Following his sports career, Pedro worked for the Montgomery County Department of Recreation for 25 years, assisting at-risk children and refugees. Other highlights of his post-baseball life include spending time as a pitching instructor for various college teams, having a role in the film “Major League II”, and meeting President Obama and being honored at the White House.
Sierra, the last player to play in both the Negro Leagues and the MLB, will throw out the first pitch at Sunday’s contest pitting the North Adams SteepleCats against the Upper Valley Nighthawks at Joe Wolfe Field at 4:30. Pedro will also have a table at the game selling a variety of baseball collectibles. Tickets for Sunday’s game can be purchased online at www.steeplecats.org or at the ticket booth one hour prior to the game’s start.