Camilo Pascual was born in Havana, Cuba on January 20, 1934. Ted Williams said he had the “most feared curveball in the American League for 18 years.”
Pascual came up with the Senators in 1954. He led the majors in shutouts in 1959, ‘61, and ‘62, and led the American League in complete games in 1959, ‘62, and ‘63, and in strikeouts each season from 1961 to ’63. (Pascual’s teammate and 1954 Sebeka High School graduate Dick Stigman, incidentally, was third in the AL in complete games and strikeouts in 1963).
No pitcher in the majors racked up a higher cumulative WAR between 1958 and ’63 (32.0 per Baseball Reference).
Pascual was sensational in the Twins’ first four seasons in Minnesota. He pitched back-to-back shutouts three separate times during the Twins’ inaugural 1961 season, and once again in 1962. On July 19, 1961, he struck out 15 Angels in a five-hit shutout at L.A.’s Wrigley Field.
Pascual pitched a three-hit shutout on September 30, 1962 (Game 163) to become the first 20-game winner in Twins history. He won 21 games in 1963.
On April 27, 1965, he hit the only grand slam by a pitcher in Twins history. He had also hit a grand slam on August 14, 1960—the Senators’ final season in Washington.
The Twins traded Pascual to the new expansion Senators for second baseman Bernie Allen on December 3, 1966. He stuck around the big leagues for five more seasons with the Senators, Reds, Dodgers, and Cleveland, pitching his last game on May 5, 1971 at age 37.
Following his playing career, Pascual became a scout. Two of his more noteworthy signings were Jose Canseco for the Athletics in 1982, and Alex Cora for the Dodgers in 1996.
Camilo Pascual was inducted as the 24th member of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame on July 14, 2012.
Camilo’s brother Carlos pitched two games for the Washington Senators in 1950.