Ramiro Mendoza, former New York Yankees pitcher and four-time World Series champion, was caught at the intersection of racing + baseball on Thursday at Hipodromo Presidente Remon in Panama, his native country. The baby-faced righthander who went by the nickname “El Brujo,” or the witch doctor, was a middle reliever whose sinking fastball “disappeared” over the plate. After winning three rings with the Yanks in 1998, 1999, and 2000, they let him get away to Boston, where he was a part of the Red Sox World Series team of 2004.
These days El Brujo pitches for the Panamanian national championship team Los Santos, where he was recently named the MVP. He and the rest of the team were at the track to sign autographs, give away souvenirs, and mingle with the fans. Now, there’s an idea.