The Lincoln Saltdogs have signed their biggest name to date with the acquisition of long-time Major League outfielder Felix Jose for the 2008 season. An all-star outfielder, Jose played in the big leagues with five different organizations and has spent the majority of the past seven years playing in Korea and Mexico.
Were excited to be able to bring a player of Felixs caliber to Lincoln, said Lincoln manager Tim Johnson. Hes got All-Star on his resume and that speaks for itself. Hes played in either the Majors or in Triple-A for the past 20 years and hes still an excellent player. Ive known Felix a long time and I know hes going to do great things for us and will be a great leader for us because of his experience and the way he approaches the game.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Felix Jose began his professional career in 1984 when he signed a minor league free agent contract with Oakland. In 1988 with Triple-A Tacoma, he hit .317 in 134 games which earned him a late season call-up to the As for his Major League debut. After six full years in the Oakland organization, which included a stint with the clubs 1989 World Series championship team, he was traded to St. Louis during the 1990 campaign in a deal that sent Willie McGee to the As. It was with the Cardinals that he enjoyed his greatest success in the Majors, most notably in 1991 when he hit .305 with a 173 hits in 154 games and was named to the National League All-Star team. In 1993, he signed a free-agent contract with Kansas City and played two-plus seasons with the Royals before spending much of the next four seasons in the Triple A ranks in the United States, Korea, and Mexico. In 2000, he signed with the New York Yankees organization and eventually made his return to the Majors with the eventual World Series champion. His last trips to the big leagues were with Arizona in 2002 and 2003.
In all, the switch-hitting outfielder played in 747 games at the Major League level and put together a career batting average of .280. In 1,322 minor league games, he has hit at a .297 clip and has continued to be productive in the high minors in recent years. In his last two seasons in the Mexican League, Jose hit .375 with Oaxaca in 2005 and .306 last year with Puebla. Jose has also left his mark on the Korean baseball league as the first player to hit homeruns from both sides of the plate in the same game and he also hit the leagues 10,000th homerun all-time. Lincoln wont be his first stop in Independent baseball. In 1998 with Nashua he earned Indy league all-star honors and was the MVP of the Atlantic League.
The 6-1, 220-pound Jose currently resides in Boca Raton, Fla. He will turn 43 on Opening Day, May 8, when the Saltdogs begin the 2008 season at Pensacola.