Card Corner: 1971 Topps, Cookie Rojasby Bruce Markusen
March 11, 2011
Cookie Rojas would have had a hard time holding down a job as a starting second baseman in today’s game. He never compiled an on-base percentage as high as .360. He never slugged as much as .410 in a single season. For his career, he hit 54 home runs and stole 78 bases. In a contemporary game where middle infielders are expected to carry part of the offensive load, Cookie Rojas likely would have found it difficult keeping up with the new standards.
None of these statistics or statements should indicate that Octavio Victor Rojas Rivas was a bad player. He wasn’t.
For his day, he was a perfectly adequate second baseman, a very good defender with crablike hands and excellent range, and a nifty ability to turn the double play. As a hitter, he would bat around .260, hit an occasional double, and lay down a sacrifice bunt when called upon by his managers. He did these things well enough to earn selection to four American League All-Star teams. He was also regarded as an extremely intelligent player, which explains why he became a manager, a coach, and a scout, and is now highly respected as a member of the Baseball Assistance Team.