Although it is a difficult task due to the immense talent of its many protagonists, here we remember 7 Latinos who have stood out in the history of baseball.
Photos: Wikimedia-RWHmedia, Wikimedia-Googie man, Flickr-Jim Accordino
LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González
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Leer en español: Los latinos más destacados en la historia del béisbol
Baseball is one of the many sports that move masses around the world and that has its highest point in terms of competition in the MLB. It is precisely there where thousands and thousands of Latinos have made history, not only proudly representing their respective country but also to become legends. Given this, in LatinAmerican Post we decided to remember 7 figures that in one way or another have stood out remarkably over the years.
Catcher is one of the most difficult and unique positions in baseball, and there is no better reference here than the Puerto Rican. 20 years of professional career (1991-2011) dictate much of the member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017, since among his feats is becoming the first catcher to achieve 30 home runs, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored during a season.
Likewise, Iván left his mark on six teams: Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. In terms of titles, the player has a World Series ring, 13 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Bats, 2 MVP awards, and was also elected 14 times to the All-Star Game.
There are plenty of standout Latinos at first base, but the Cuban's offensive power is hard to miss. From 1986 to 2005, Palmeiro did his thing and contributed to each team he played for. In fact, he is one of the few who has entered the club of 500 home runs for life in the MLB (he left that figure at 569) and of those with 3,000 hits (he stayed at 3,020).
His career in the Majors was marked by successes and some controversies. In his almost 20 years as a professional he defended the Chicago Cubs, and twice the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. Despite not winning a World Series, Palmeiro was elected to the All-Star Game 4 times, winning 3 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Bats.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest second basemen in baseball history. The Puerto Rican is still a reference for many players today. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, Roberto had an outstanding professional career for 16 years (1988 - 2004), to the point that the Toronto Blue Jays retired number 12 as a tribute.
Up to seven teams had the joy of having him in their ranks: San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks. He was also a 2-time World Series champion, won 10 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Bats and was elected 12 times to the All-Star Game.
Venezuela is a land of baseball players, but especially shortstops. And there is no greater reference than Aparicio, who is still considered by the American sports press as one of the best and fastest in the history of baseball. Without a doubt, he is the greatest inspiration of other Latinos in that position, in addition to being the only Venezuelan -until now- exalted to the Hall of Fame.
Aparicio made his MLB debut in 1956 and retired in 1973. He wore only three uniforms: Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Boston Red Sox. In addition to winning the Rookie of the Year award, a World Series and 9 Gold Gloves, it is important to mention that for 9 consecutive years he was the leader in stolen bases in the American League.
The corpulence and power that the Dominican was acquiring forced him to go from shortstop to third base, a position in which he stood out for most of his career. Precisely, it was 22 years (from 1994 to 2016) where Alex demonstrated all his offensive potential not only to break numerous records, but also to reach the incredible figure of 696 home runs in the history of American baseball.
He started his career with the Seattle Mariners, then established himself with the Texas Rangers to finally make history with the New York Yankees. In total he won a World Series, 10 Silver Sluggers, 2 Gold Gloves, 4 Hank Aaron Awards for being the best hitter in the league, 3 American League MVPs, 14 times chosen for the All-Star Game, in addition to leading in 5 times the home run department.
A true legend in baseball history. There is no Latino more iconic in this sport than the Puerto Rican, who was able to overcome difficult times due to racial discrimination in society and years later became the first Latino to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He is not only remembered for being a great hitter, but also for his impeccable defensive work.
The Pittsburgh Pirates had the honor of keeping the outfielder throughout his career (1955 - 1972) and with them he won 2 World Series rings, 12 Gold Gloves, one National League MVP award and one World Series MVP award, in addition of being selected for the All-Star Game 15 times. Following his unexpected dead in 1972, the MLB awards the Roberto Clemente Award to a player selected for admirable character and charitable contributions to the community.
As for pitchers, the Mexican left an indelible mark on baseball history. It was a 17-year career (from 1980 to 1997) where his first season in the MLB stood out above the rest. The phenomenon called "Fernandomania" took all the attention after the then rookie won his first eight games in a row, five of them without allowing runs.
In fact, it is worth mentioning that in that premiere season he won the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young for the best pitcher, a milestone that until now they have not equaled. Also, the left-hander went through six different teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals.