Dec 30, 1951: The mystery of Hi Bithorn
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sun, 12/30/2012 - 6:00am
Comeback stopped by bullet
CIUDAD VICTORIA, MEXICO - It was a mystery then. It's a mystery today. Former major league pitcher Hi Bithorn died from a gunshot wound on this date in 1951 in a Ciudad Victoria, Mexico hospital. The 35-year old Puerto Rican native was shot by police in El Mante, Mexico the day before under circumstances still not clear. Bithorn was playing in the Mexican Winter League when he was killed.
El Mante police say he had $2,000 in cash on him at the time of the shooting and was trying to sell a car. According to the June 4, 1952 Chicago Tribune, Bithorn's widow, Virginia Arford Bithorn asked United States ambassador to Mexico William O'Dwyer for a full scale investigation of the case. A police officer was charged in the shooting, but it's not known how the case was resolved.
Bithorn was trying to make a comeback in the Mexican Winter League in 1952 when he was killed. A baseball stadium in Puerto Rico is named after Bithorn, who was born Hiram Gabriel Bithorn Sosa on March 18, 1916 in Santurce, Puerto Rico.
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