Growlers Welcome Negro League Star as Pitching Coach
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers are proud to announce that Negro League star, Pedro Sierra will join the Growlers as the new team’s new pitching coach. Sierra will join the team as they begin their second season in Kalamazoo and the Northwoods League.
Pedro got his start in baseball early, when in 1954, at the age of 16, he was signed to his first baseball contract with the Indianapolis Clowns. After the season, Pedro returned to Cuba, his home and birthplace, where he played winter ball until the spring of 1955, when he joined the line-up of the Detroit Stars. Coached by Ed Steele, Sierra was selected to the Negro League East-West All Star Game in 1956 and would go on to play for the Stars until 1958.
In the middle of 1959, Sierra was picked up by scout Joe Cambria and was signed by the Washington Senators. Upon arrival he found the opportunity had passed and was resigned and sent to Lynchburg, Va of the Appalachian League.
That same year, Pedro was drafted into the US Army where he played for the Ft. Hood Tankers, becoming the team’s top pitcher in 1961 with a 17-5 record and a 1.75 ERA, including a no hitter facing only 28 batters. His team would go on to win the 4th Army Championship that same season.
After his tour of duty ended in 1962, Sierra played for the Minnesota Twins farm system until 1966. From 1967-69 he pitched in the Provincial League in Quebec, Canada, where in 1969 he led the league in wins (14), shutouts (4) and was selected to the All Star game three consecutive seasons, becoming in the team MVP in 1969.
At the end of the 1969 season, he received an invite from Ted Williams to try out for the Washington Senators, he was signed that same day. To begin the 1970 season, Pedro was pitching for the Washington Senators (Double AA) Pittsfield team and through 1971 he was sent up and down the organization’s farm club ladder. His last summer playing ball was 1975 for the newly formed Dominican Summer League.
Sierra began his coaching career in July 2002 when he joined the Pennsylvania Roadwarriors as their pitching coach. In 2004 he joined the Newark Bears as a bench coach and in ’05 was hired as the pitching coach with the LaNew Bears of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, where he spent half the season with them before joining the Atlantic City Surf Baseball Club as the Special Assistant to the GM for Minority Affairs. From 2006 – 07 he returned to the field as pitching coach for the Sussex Skyhawks of the Can-Am League.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com