Casa Osvaldo Virgil

 

On May 17, 1932 Osvaldo José Virgil Pichardo in a small located in Calle Sanchez 47 in Monte Cristi. This house is now know as Casa Osvaldo Virgil. His parents, Henry Virgil and Isabel Pichardo were “cocolos” who came to the Dominican Republic from Grand Turks. The family emigrated to the Bronx, New York in 1945 when he was 13 years old.  At the age of 18, Osvaldo served in the US Marines and fought in the Korean War. His 17 year professional baseball career began after his military service in 1953. Nine of his 17 year career were played in Major League  Baseball.

He is credited with two firsts in Major League Baseball history. He was the first person from the Dominican Republic to play in the Majors when he started for the New York Giants at third base against the Philadelphia Phillies on September 23, 1956. He was also the fist player of African decent to play for the Detroit Tigers when he started at third base against the Washington Senators on June 6, 1958.

At the end of his career as a professional player, Virgil would go on to coach 19 seasons for various different teams including the San Francisco Giants, the team where he started his major league career.

His influence and importance can be seen throughout Monte Cristi.  Calle Sanchez where Virgil was born was renamed to bear his name. The national airport in Monte Cristi also bears his name, There is the Osvaldo Virgil foundation on calle Santiago Rodriguez. Finally, a statue of Osvaldo Virgil was erected in Parque Juan Bosch on December 16, 2017 to commemorate his life and achievements as a pioneer in Major League Baseball.

You can visit Casa Osvaldo Virgil. There is a plaque that identifies the home. It is still owned by the family.

Osvaldo Virgil played for

  • New York Giants (1956–1957)
  • Detroit Tigers (1958, 1960–1961)
  • Kansas City Athletics (1961)
  • Baltimore Orioles (1962)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (1965)
  • San Francisco Giants (1966, 1969)

He coached the

  • Giants (1969–72; 1974–75)
  • Montreal Expos (1976–81)
  • San Diego Padres (1982–85)
  • Seattle Mariners (1986–88)

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