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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Eddie Zambrano hit two home runs in 1994 game for Cubs; Saw time in two ML seasons

Eddie Zambrano didn't even know he was playing that May 1994 evening, he told The Chicago Tribune later. 

He ended up being one of the game's heroes as he hit two home runs, knocking in four in the 6-3 win, The Tribune wrote.

"I came out early for extra hitting and found out I was in the lineup," Zambrano told The Tribune. "I'm happy to play, but even more happy to win. We really needed a win."

Zambrano had that two-homer night in his second season with time in the bigs. He saw 67 games that year. He continued playing for several more seasons, but he didn't get back.

Zambrano's career began in 1985, signed by the Red Sox as a free agent out of his native Venezuela. Zambrano was also credited by his formal name, Eduardo Zambrano.

He started with the Red Sox playing two seasons at single-A Greensboro. He hit .271 and .238 there.

Zambrano made AA briefly in 1987 at AA New Britain, then full-time in 1988 and hit .223. 

He moved to the Indians system and high-A Kinston for 1990, then the Pirates at AA Carolina and AAA Buffalo for 1991.

He arrived with the Cubs for 1993 and had a big year at AAA Iowa. He hit .303 in 133 games. He hit 32 home runs and knocked in 115.

"Driving in 100 runs has been a goal of mine since I started playing professional baseball," Zambrano told The Des Moines Register as he neared that total in August. "The RBIs are the big things. Hitting with runners in scoring position is how you make your money."

The Cubs then rewarded Zambrano for his season with a September call-up. Zambrano got into eight games. He went 5 for 17, with two RBI.

Going into the 1994 season, The Tribune noted Zambrano could play all three outfield positions and first base. Cubs manager Tom Trebelhorn liked what he saw.

"He looked real good when we had him," Trebelhorn told The Tribune. "You can always use a guy like that, who can move around and play a few positions."

Zambrano hit .259 in his 67 games that year. He also hit six total home runs and had 18 RBI.

The Cubs released him after the season and he underwent elbow surgery. Zambrano then played briefly in the Red Sox organization in 1995 and 1996. He moved to Taiwan for 26 games with Mercuries in 1997. He's later recorded as playing in Mexico, in Cancun, as late as 2002 to end his career.

Zambrano has also watched another member of the family make the majors, his nephew - his sister's son - Rougned Odor. (Interestingly, an Odor uncle on Odor's father's sideRouglas Odor, was a teammate of Zambrano in 1990 at Kinston.)

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,015
Made the Majors:1,337-33.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,678-66.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:547
10+ Seasons in the Minors:331

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