As a young lefthanded pitching prospect with the Braves in the 1950s, teenager Pizzaro struck out 15 batters in six innings on his professional stateside debut. He was quickly dubbed “the next Warren Spahn.” But the Puerto Rican only spent a few years in a major league rotation, instead plying his trade as a swingman or reliever for most of his 18 years in the big leagues.
Pizzaro won nearly 400 games in professional baseball: about 190 in the majors and minors in the U.S., and 190 in his native Puerto Rico in the winter leagues. When the Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame was opened, Pizzaro, known as “The Ebony Whip,” was one of the first inductees.
After being dealt to Chicago in the early 1960s, Pizarro teamed in the White Sox rotation with Tommy John, Gary Peters, and Joe Horlen to form one of the better quartets in team history and in baseball in that era, albeit for a brief time.