Nelson Barrera Romellón (El
Almirante – The Admiral) (October 17,
1957 in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico – July 14, 2002 in San Francisco de
Campeche, Campeche, Mexico) was
a Mexican League baseball player, who
at the time of his death in 2002 led the league in career home runs
(455) and RBI (1,927).
A right-hander and a native of the Mexican state of Campeche,
Barrera entered the Mexican League in 1977 with the Mexico City Diablos Rojos
Devils), after playing three years in the Mexican Center League. He
hit only .235 as a rookie, with 2 home runs, but he continued to
improve. He broke 20 home runs, hitting .354 with 101 RBI in 1984.
This earned him a look by the Chicago
, who placed him on their AAA Buffalo Bisons American Association
team. He hit just .176 with 2 HR in 74 at bats, and was cut by the
Bisons. He returned to Mexico with the Diablos Rojos, where he
helped them win the pennant. He played for the Diablos Rojos for
most of his career (1977-79, 1983-91, 1995).
He won his only league home run title with 42 in 1987. He led the
league in RBI that year and the following year, with 134 and 124,
respectively. On April 22
, Barrera drove in his 1,574th run, breaking the
Mexican League record of Héctor
. In 1998
he was player-manager for
the Oaxaca Guerreros
when they won their only pennant. He contributed with a .321
average and 110 RBI. This was his sixth season with more than 100
RBI, something no one had accomplished before in the Mexican
League. After he broke the career RBI record, his old team the
Diablos Rojos organized an appreciation for him in the capital, at
their old stadium, Seguro Social.
In 2001 he broken Espino's record for home runs, finishing the
season with 455 to Espino's 453. Nevertheless, he was fired as
Guerreros' manager that year. He went on the disabled list as a
player toward the end of the season.
Barrera was accused in 1988 of using a corked
by the Mexico City
. The umpires disagreed and the Mexican League
fined the Tigers 1 million
pesos for defaming Barrera.
, he returned to his hometown of
Campeche, where he was player-manager with the Campeche Piratas
(Pirates), still in the Mexican League. (He had played there
earlier, from 1992 to 1994.) He failed to homer in 2002. On
his last hit, in Oaxaca against his old team. In July, 2002 he was
electrocuted while trying to repair his roof. He was 44.
On March 1
elected to the (the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame). Besides setting
career records for home runs and RBI in the Mexican League, Barrera
- first or second on the list of most games played in the league,
- third in runs
- second in hits, with 2,938
- second in doubles
- first in total bases
His 455 home runs are second in all of minor-league baseball, to
Hector Espino's 484. And his 2,045 RBI in the minors is 10% more
than second-place Nick Cullop's 1,857. Besides the Diablos Rojos,
Campeche Piratas and Oaxaca Guerreros, he played with the Nuevo
Laredo Tecolotes. He played 26 seasons in Mexican baseball.
Parque Nelson Barrera, the 6,000-seat baseball stadium in Campeche,
is named for him.
- Treto Cisneros, Pedro, The Mexican League: Comprehensive
Player Statistics (ISBN 0786413786)
- Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database