An Unsolved Mystery in Puerto Rico

Former outfielder Ivan Calderon was murdered 18 years ago today. As far as I know, the case remains unsolved. A regular fixture at El Trompo Bar in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Calderon was approached from behind by two men. Witnesses say the pair did not say a word as they shot him multiple times in the head and back. Speculation about the motive swirled in the event’s aftermath as the attack had the hallmarks of a contract killing. Calderon’s copious jewelry was left untouched and the two had apparently made a beeline for him upon entering the building.

After a series of injuries led to his 1993 retirement, Calderon had returned to his home in Loiza. He was a regular in the territory’s (legal) cockfighting tournaments and was reported to be engaged in money lending and offering bail bonds. Some accounts place fellow MLB player Ruben Sierra as a business partner of his. His wife disputes claims of these activities, though they are interest given the manner in which he died. The Chicago Tribune reported in January 2004 that Calderon may have been targeted by a local drug gang seeking revenge against one of his sons.

Regardless of the reason, it would be good to finally make a breakthrough and solve the case.

Topps Finest was produced in mid-season 1993. Calderon’s ’93 season was cut short by injuries and he only played 73 games for Boston. The White Sox picked him up for 9 additional games before he retired later that year.