|Birth Day:||July 4, 1967|
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He was a standout baseball player in Mexico before he signed his first professional contract.
The Atlanta Braves purchased Castilla's contract from the Saltillo club out of the Mexican League in 1990. He made his MLB debut as a shortstop for the Braves on September 9, 1991. For the 1992 season he only appeared in 8 games.
In November 1992 he was selected by the Rockies in the expansion draft. For the 1993 season he played regularly hitting 9 home runs and 9 triples (8th in the league) and 30 RBIs in 105 games as a shortstop. In 1994 his playing time was reduced mainly due to the acquisition of shortstop Walt Weiss and the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike. Castilla only saw action in 52 games, hitting .311 with 11 doubles, playing all four positions in the infield.
In 1996 he surpassed his numbers from the previous year. Playing in 160 games, he scored 97 runs, to go with 191 hits (7th in the NL) and 34 doubles. His 40th home run came on the last game of the season. He finished the year hitting .304, with 113 RBIs. He also hit 2 Grand Slams. At third base, he was NL leader in double plays turned (43) and assists (389).
For the 1997 season he would have exactly the same totals of home runs, RBIs and batting average (40/113/.304) than the prior year, as well as 3 multi-homer games. He earned his second Silver Slugger Award in three years. Defensively, for second year in a row, he led the league in both assists (323) and double plays for a 3B (41).
On April 4, 1999, Castilla was a part of history as the Rockies played their Opening Day contest in his native Mexico at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey in Monterrey. The game marked the first time Major League Baseball (MLB) commenced the regular season outside of the United States or Canada. The Rockies' opponent were the defending National League champion San Diego Padres. Castilla delighted the crowd with four hits including a double, as Colorado won 8–2..
On June 6, 1999, Castilla produced his first career three-home run game against the Milwaukee Brewers. His offensive numbers declined a little, hitting for a .275 batting average (first time in 5 years he didn’t eclipsed the .300 mark) He finished the season with 33 home runs, but for the 4th year in a row he had 100+ RBIs (102). He had the 3rd highest number of errors at third base with 19.
He was signed as a free agent by the Braves in 2002. Although his offensive numbers declined (.232/12/61), he established himself as a premier defender at third base, leading the league in fielding average with .982. In the post season he hit a solid .320 with a home run and 4 RBIs. He played another season with the Braves in 2003, finishing the year with 22 homers and 76 runs batted in.
He moved on to play with the Washington Nationals in 2005, hitting 12 home runs and 66 RBIs in 142 games. He finished second among third basemen in fielding average, with .970. In 2006, he played 72 games for the San Diego Padres before being released. He then signed with the Rockies for a third time to finish his career in Colorado. His last home run with the Rockies came on September 9, 2006 giving him a total of 239, good for 3rd all time in franchise history.
He decided to retire after the Caribbean Series on February 7, 2007, becoming a special assistant to Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd.
In 2007, he was named manager of the Mexico baseball team for the Pan American Games, and also served as manager in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In 2008, he was a player-manager for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League.
Currently, Vinny Castilla is 55 years, 6 months and 29 days old. Vinny Castilla will celebrate 56th birthday on a Tuesday 4th of July 2023.
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