António Francísco Peña was born June 4, 1957 in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. It was there that he grew up and was taught baseball by his mother. On July 22, 1975 he was signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tony would spend almost five full seasons on different minor league teams for the Pirates until he made his Major League Baseball debut on September 1, 1980.

Peña would play for six seasons with the Pirates, becoming enamored be their hometown crowds. In a surprising move, Peña was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Andy Van Slyke, Mike LaValliere and Mike Dunne. Tony would only play three season for the Cards, who chose not to re-sign the veteran catcher. In November of 1989, Tony would sign with the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox enjoyed the strong defense that Tony provided for the team. His ability to jump out of his stance quickly and throw accurately made him a good catcher, and a good addition to the team. However Tony was never able to provide the power numbers, hitting 10 or more home runs only 5 times, and never after 1989. Soon, the Red Sox decided that they wanted more punch, and let the catcher go.

In February of 1994, Tony signed with the Cleveland Indians. There, he split time with fellow star catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr. He would spend three seasons with the Indians helping them in the post-season with some perfectly timed hits. When his three seasons as an Indian were up, they chose not to pick up the option on his contract, and Tony found himself working for the Chicago White Sox. Tony would not spend a lot of time in a White Sox uniform. He was signed in January, but was traded in August to the Houston Astros for a minor league pitcher. This would be Tony's final season as a MLB player.

In the winter of 1997, Tony would manage, and play, for Cibão in the Dominican League. Even though he knocked in what would be the game winning runs, Tony would scratch himself off of the roster after his team won the Dominican Title, signifying his retirement from baseball.

Tony would not stay away from professional baseball, however. In 1998, shortly after his retirement from playing he signed with the White Sox again, only this time as a manager for an affiliate in the Arizona Fall League. He would also be the Chicago's Coordinator of Dominican Operations that year.

The next season, Tony would manage for the Astros' AAA affiliate, the New Orleans Zephyrs, in the Pacific Coast League. He managed their for three years before being named the bench coach for the Astros. On May 15, 2002, after much speculation, the Kansas City Royals announced that Tony Peña would be their new manager. This came to a surprise to most as many thought it would be Buck Showalter. Peña would be the third Dominican born manager behind Felípe Alou and Luís Pujols.

On June 24, 2002 history would be made as Peña's Royals took on the Detroit Tigers, led by fellow Dominican Luis Pujols. This marked the first time in MLB history that two Dominican-born managers would lead squads against each other. Baseball commissioner, and all around idiot, Bud Selig as well as Dominican President Hipólito Mejía were on hand for the event. Each threw out the opening pitch and the Dominican Republic's anthem was played as well as America's.

Peña abruptly resigned as Royals manager on May 10, 2005, after several losing seasons with the team. He was replaced by Bob Schaefer (on an interim basis) and Buddy Bell. As of 2006, Peña is the New York Yankees bench coach.

Tony Pena would always be known for his odd crouch behind the plate. Tony would stick one leg really far out and squat quite low to the ground. Tony has a wife and three kids, one of whom, Tony Peña, Jr., is currently playing shortstop for the Royals. The elder Peña was a 5-time All-Star, 1982, 84-86 and 89, and a 4-time Gold Glove winner, 82-85 and 91.

Statistics:

Position: Catcher
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 184
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
 Year Team  G   AB    R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   AVG   OBP   SLG  OPS 
 1980 PIT   8   21    1    9   1  1   0    1   0  1   0   4  .429  .429  .571 1.000
 1981 PIT  66  210   16   63   9  1   2   17   1  2   8  23  .300  .326  .381  .707
 1982 PIT 138  497   53  147  28  4  11   63   2  5  17  57  .296  .323  .435  .758
 1983 PIT 151  542   51  163  22  3  15   70   6  7  31  73  .301  .338  .435  .773
 1984 PIT 147  546   77  156  27  2  15   78  12  8  36  79  .286  .333  .425  .758
 1985 PIT 147  546   53  136  27  2  10   59  12  8  29  67  .249  .284  .361  .645
 1986 PIT 144  510   56  147  26  2  10   52   9 10  53  69  .288  .356  .406  .762
 1987 STL 116  384   40   82  13  4   5   44   6  1  36  54  .214  .281  .307  .589
 1988 STL 149  505   55  133  23  1  10   51   6  2  33  60  .263  .308  .372  .680
 1989 STL 141  424   36  110  17  2   4   37   5  3  35  33  .259  .318  .337  .655
 1990 BOS 143  491   62  129  19  1   7   56   8  6  43  71  .263  .322  .348  .670
 1991 BOS 141  464   45  107  23  2   5   48   8  3  37  53  .231  .291  .321  .612
 1992 BOS 133  410   39   99  21  1   1   38   3  2  24  61  .241  .284  .305  .589
 1993 BOS 126  304   20   55  11  0   4   19   1  3  25  46  .181  .246  .257  .502 
 1994 CLE  40  112   18   33   8  1   2   10   0  1   9  11  .295  .341  .438  .779
 1995 CLE  91  263   25   69  15  0   5   28   1  0  14  44  .262  .302  .376  .679
 1996 CLE  67  174   14   34   4  0   1   27   0  1  15  25  .195  .255  .236  .491
 1997 CHW  31   67    4   11   1  0   0    8   0  0   8  13  .164  .250  .179  .429 
 1997 HOU   9   19    2    4   3  0   0    2   0  0   2   3  .211  .273  .368  .641 

 Career Totals:   G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   AVG   OBP   SLG  OPS 
                1988 6489  667 1687 298 27 107  708  80 63 455 846  .260  .309  .364 .673
Sources

Tony Peña Statistics - http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/penato01.shtml
Luis Pujols, Tony Peña make history for MLB and Dominican Republic - http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/020626/6/nae1.html
CNNSI.com - Tony Peña Batting Stats - http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/stats/alltime/player/batting/730.html
RoyalsZone.com - http://www.royalszone.com/coaches/pena.shtml
Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers - http://members.tripod.com/bb_catchers/catchers/pena.htm

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