February 15, 2012 by Matt Musico
Happy 38th birthday to former MLB reliver, Ugueth Urbina, who was born on February 15th, 1974! Now I realize that Urbina wasn’t exactly one of the more popular relievers during his 11-year professional career, but how could anyone forget a name like that! The former reliever spent most of his time in the Bigs with the Montreal Expos (seven years), but once he was traded to Boston in 2001, he bounced around to four more additional teams (Tigers, Marlins, Rangers, and Phillies), and didn’t spend more than two seasons with any organization. During his career, he was able to make his mark in several ways; he led the league in saves in 1999 (41), was named to two All-Star games (one in each league), and helped the Marlins win their second World Championship in 2003. Here is the full stat line for Urbina:
44-49 record, 3.45 ERA, 237 saves, 408 games finished, 697.1 innings pitched, 814 strikeouts, 1.213 WHIP
After experimenting with inserting him into the starting rotation, the Expo front office decided to convert Ubrina into their closer, where he flourished for most of the remainder of his career. He had seven seasons where he recorded 20 or more saves, and his 237 career saves rank 34th all-time in Major League history; the 408 games that Urbina finished is currently the 57th highest total of all-time. As a kid, I remember hearing Ugueth Urbina’s name numerous times, probably only because it was such a unique name. However, I didn’t know how rare his name was until I did a little more digging for this post. His full name is Ugueth Urtain Urbina, which makes him the only player in MLB history to have “UU” or “UUU” as his initials. That’s pretty freaking cool.
The other fact that I found out about Urbina is that he’s celebrating his birthday in a place where most people would prefer not to be. In October of 2005, he attacked five farm workers that were on his property because he thought that they stole a gun of his. While trying to capture them, he tried to use his machete to teach them a lesson and also tried to pour gasoline on them. In March of 2007, he was convicted of attempted murder in his native Venezuela and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. So, Urbina will be spending nine more birthdays in prison, but rightfully so. Talk about extracurricular activities after his baseball career ended.