Orestes Destrade

Orestes Destrade Cucuas (born May 8, 1962) is a Cuban former professional baseball infielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Florida Marlins. Destrade also played in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Seibu Lions. He is now a broadcaster for the Tampa Bay Rays. He was nicknamed The Big O.[1]

Orestes Destrade
Destrade in 2016
First baseman
Born: (1962-05-08) May 8, 1962
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Batted: Switch
Threw: Right
Professional debut
MLB: September 11, 1987, for the New York Yankees
NPB: June 20, 1989, for the Seibu Lions
Last appearance
MLB: May 24, 1994, for the Florida Marlins
NPB: June 15, 1995, for the Seibu Lions
MLB statistics
Batting average.241
Home runs26
Runs batted in106
NPB statistics
Batting average.262
Home runs160
Runs batted in389
Career highlights and awards
  • Japan Series MVP (1990)
  • Best Nine Award (1990–1992)
  • Pacific League home run leader (1990–1992)
  • 2× Pacific League RBI leader (1990, 1991)


Destrade was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba,[2] but emigrated to the United States with his family at the age of six. During his youth, he played in the Khoury League at Tamiami Park in Miami. He graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, and later attended Florida College.

Professional baseball career

After college, he played many seasons in the minor leagues before his career at the major league level. Destrade was called up in September 1987 with the New York Yankees. He played in 1988 with the Pittsburgh Pirates (where he was the victim of pitcher Randy Johnson's first major league strikeout), and 1993 and 1994 for the Florida Marlins. Destrade was a member of the Florida Marlins' 1993 inaugural season.

Destrade played five seasons (19891992 and 1995) for the Seibu Lions of the Japanese Pacific League, where he led the league in home runs for three consecutive years. He was also the MVP of the 1990 Japan Series. Despite his short career in Japan, Destrade is considered one of NPB's best career switch-hitters.

Broadcasting career

Destrade appeared on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. He provided color commentary for the 2006 World Baseball Classic and broadcast again with the 2009 World Baseball Classic for ESPN. He helped broadcast the 2007, 2008 & 2009 Little League World Series. Until April 2007 he was co-host of XM Radio's Baseball This Morning show on MLB Home Plate, XM channel 175, along with Buck Martinez and Mark Patrick. Destrade also worked as an on-field reporter during the Tampa Bay Rays' 2010 postseason celebration after clinching a playoff spot. As of May 2011, he is a contributor to Rays radio and TV broadcasts as an analyst. He co-hosts the program Rays Live which airs as the pre and post-game analysis. Destrade is notable for clutching a baseball during his broadcasts — including radio broadcasts.

Personal life

Orestes is married and is the father of four children: Danielle, Devin, Armando, and Isabella.


  1. Mark Nowlin (3 December 2014). "Florida Marlins "A Great Beginning" 1993". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  2. Orestes Destrade at IMDb
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