Geronimo Gil Signed 2003 Upper Deck Vintage Baseball Card - Baltimore Orioles
Gerónimo Gil (born Aug. 7, 1975, in Oaxaca, Mexico) is a professional baseball catcher. He bats and throws right-handed.
Gil began his baseball career with the Red Devils of the Mexican League. He had played in only four games for Mexico City in 1995 when his contract was purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Feb. 15, 1996.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Gil played for the Class A Savannah Sand Gnats in 1996. The Sand Gnats came back from seventh place and won the South Atlantic League championship that year.
In 1997, Gil played for the Single-A Vero Beach Dodgers. The next year, he was promoted to the Double-A San Antonio Missions, playing catcher as well as in the outfield and at first base. Gil played for San Antonio until 2000. The highlights of his career with San Antonio included ranking 4th in batting average and tying for third place in doubles with 17 in 1998, tying for the Missions' team lead with 15 home runs in 1999, and being named the best defensive catcher in the Texas League in 2000. In 1999, he played catcher and outfield, and in 2000, he caught and also played third base.
Later in the 2000 season, Gil was promoted to the Triple-A Albuquerque Dukes. With the Dukes, he played 15 games, batting .380 with two home runs and 22 RBIs. He also had a .600 slugging average and a .421 on-base percentage.
Despite the fact that he played nearly his entire minor league career on Los Angeles farm teams, Gil never played a Major League game for the Dodgers. He began the 2001 season in the Dodgers farm system with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, but was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on July 31, 2001, after batting only .222 with Las Vegas.
Baltimore Orioles and Colorado Rockies
After the trade, Gil played for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings. He batted .313, collecting a hit in 13 of his last 17 games with Rochester. He also had only eight stolen bases against him in 31 attempts. The highlight of his short stint with Rochester was an eight-game hitting streak, from Aug. 7-15. On September 7, the Orioles purchased Gil's contract from the Red Wings. He made his major league debut the next day. Of the final 22 games of the season, Gil started at catcher in 17 of them.
In 2002, Gil started for the O's on Opening Day. He was the first Orioles rookie to start at catcher on Opening Day since Andy Etchebarren, in 1966. He caught 33 out of 91 baserunners stealing, second in the American League to Bengie Molina. He hit his first big league homer on April 11, off Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Travis Phelps. His first multi-homer game was on April 23, both off the Boston Red Sox pitcher Frank Castillo. He also hit another home run off Castillo on April 29. Gil hit 12 home runs that year, the most ever by a Mexican-born rookie. The previous record was held by Vinny Castilla, who hit 9 for the Colorado Rockies in 1993. An interesting fact about Gil's 2002 season is that of his 12 home runs, 4 were against the Red Sox, the most he hit against any team that year. 3 of those 4 homers he hit against Boston were off Frank Castillo. He was selected as the catcher on the Topps' All-Rookie team after the season was over. Gil played for the Obregón Yaquis in the Mexican Pacific League during the 2002 offseason, batting .266 with 6 home runs and 20 RBI. He played mostly first base, outfield and designated hitter. He also played 6 games as a catcher and a game at third.
In 2003, Gil spent most of the season with Baltimore, but he also played for six weeks with the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx. He started the season as the everyday catcher for the O's, and started 12 of the first 16 games. Gil batted only .173 with a dinger and 3 RBI in the first 22 games, and with only 1 game in which he had more than one hit in that span. He batted .339 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI in May, and in June he batted only .139 with 2 RBI and no home runs. In July, he only started 2 games before being optioned to Triple-A Ottawa on July 20. With the Lynx, he hit safely in 30 out of 36 games. Gil also had an 11-game hitting streak, from August 2–13. During this hitting streak, he batted .400. While with Ottawa, he had 17 RBI, 13 of which he hit in the final 18 games of the minor league season. After Ottawa was eliminated by the Pawtucket Red Sox in the International League playoff series, in which Gil batted 1 for 16, Baltimore brought Gil back up from the minors. He had two hits in his first Major League game back, but only played in three games. During the season, he threw out 10 of 48 basestealers. Gil played again for Obregón in the Mexican League after the season, playing 50 games and batting .277 with 4 home runs and 29 RBIs.
Gil spent almost the whole 2004 season with Ottawa, after being sent to Ottawa during spring training, a decision he infamously reacted to by smashing trash cans in the clubhouse with his bat. He hit .287 in the first half with the Lynx, and was their only player at the Triple-A All-Star Game. In the second half, he hit .278 in the end of July, and only .198 in August. Gil was called up by the Orioles in September when rosters expanded. He played in 12 games for the O's during the last month of the season, batting .281, and was the only Orioles backup catcher that hit over .170. He had a 2-RBI double in his first game back against the Devil Rays on September 2. Gil also had a season-high 2 hits against the Detroit Tigers on the September 26. He also threw out 3 of 16 baserunners.
In 2005, Gil batted .192, with four home runs, 17 RBIs and no stolen bases in 64 games. The Orioles placed him on the 15-day disabled list on July 4 with a strained left thumb.
Before the 2006 season, the Orioles placed Gil on waivers, which he cleared. On March 29, 2006, Gil was released by the Orioles. Gil signed with the Colorado Rockies on December 14, 2006. Before the start of the season, he was loaned to the Red Devils of the Mexican League where he batted .396 in 75 games and was named to the midseason All-Star team. He was returned and called up by the Rockies on August 9, 2007.
Gil is notable for having more career at-bats without a triple than any other active player, 681.
Return to the Mexican League
Gil started 2008 playing for the Guerreros de Oaxaca, but after 54 games, he was sent to the Red Devils. Combined, Gil batted .298 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs. After that, he played with the Diablos Rojos del México and Naranjeros de Hermosillo, and also participated in the Baseball Fest 2010 in Tijuana with Hermosillo. He currently plays with the Diablos Rojos del México.