Former Cajuns Who Played MLB – Jose Alvarez
How many former Louisiana (formerly both Southwestern Louisiana Institute and University of Southwestern Louisiana) Ragin' Cajun baseball players went on to play Major League Baseball?
The answer is 13.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to look back at the respective professional careers all every one of them.
Yesterday, we looked back at Ron Guidry.
Today, we feature Jose Alvarez.
A native of Tampa, Florida, Alvarez was the third former UL player to reach the Major League Baseball level.
A right-handed pitcher, Alvarez played for then-USL in 1977 & 1978, finishing his college career with 8 shutouts, 20 complete games, and a 1.94 ERA., which rank 1, 2, & 3, respectively, in Cajun baseball history.
1978 was especially kind to Alvarez, as he led the team with 5 shutouts and 12 complete games, while also tossing a no-hitter.
Selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 1978 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, Alvarez spent his first professional season with the Kingsport Braves in 1978.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Alvarez made his big league debut on October 1, 1981, pitching two shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants.
Alvarez pitched in 7 games in 1982, accumulating a 4.70 ERA., but would not appear in MLB over the next five seasons.
Not one to give up, Alvarez returned to MLB, and to the Braves in 1988, posting a very nice 2.99 ERA., as well as three saves in 60 games, at the age of 32.
Alvarez was equally as effective in 1989, going 3-3 with two saves and a 2.86 in 30 games.
That would turn out to be the last MLB season for Alvarez however, as he returned to the minor leagues, before retiring at the end of the 1995 season.
In parts of 4 seasons in Major League Baseball, all with the Braves, Alvarez appeared in 98 games, all in relief, compiling an overall record of 8-9, to go along with 5 saves and a 2.99 ERA.
Now 62-years old and residing in South Carolina, Alvarez speaks for FamilyLife, a Christian organization, on multiple occasions around the country.