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Llevame Al Partido De Beisbol: Top 5 Latino Baseball Hall Of Famers


It’s sort of a given that Latinos are fanatical about soccer. This is generally true. But there are some countries where the sport of choice is baseball. Last month, Robert Alomar was inducted into the Baseball of Fame, joining fellow Boricuas Roberto Clemente and Orlando Cepeda. There are other Latinos in the Hall of Fame as well, which we’ll discuss below. So, why are some countries all about el beisbol? It’s simple: the countries that love the game were all, at one time or another, virtual American colonies. Puerto Rico, of course, is an American protectorate. Panama was under the thumb of the U.S. for decades after the building of the Panama Canal. The United States also has a pronounced presence in the Domincan Republic and Mexico. Though it’s hard to believe, Cuba was once so close to the U.S., that congress considered adding the island as a state. Even old Fidel  Castro was a pitcher in college. He tried out for the Washington Nationals in the early 50’s, but was rejected for being Latino, (imagine how different the world would be if they had taken him!). Nowadays, we take it for granted how many Latinos play baseball. So, with this in mind, here are the top 5 Latino Baseball Hall of Famers.

Roberto Clemente

Clemente was called “The Great One” for a reason. The Puerto Rican right fielder was one of the best baseball players. He had a career batting average of .317 and had 3000 hits. Let that sink in. He also played in 15 All-Star games, won 12 Golden Glove Awards, and had two World Series wins. Clemente was also a gentleman. Fiercely loyal, he played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A humanitarian, he died in a plane crash on the way to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. They don’t make ‘um like Roberto anymore.

Rod Carew

This guy was unbelievable. Rod was born in Panama and played both second and first base in his illustrious career. He was one of the all time great hitters, in spite of the fact that he didn’t hit home runs. His career batting average was .328 and he had over 3000 hits. He was picked for the All-Star team every year during his 18 years in the major leagues. He is also erroneously mentioned in Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” as having converted to Judaism, which he didn’t. He raised his daughters in the faith because his wife was Jewish. He also holds the title of being one of the few Latinos named Rod.

Orlando Cepeda

This guy was a pioneer for Latinos in baseball. He played at a time when Jim Crow laws made it virtually impossible for a Latino player to play games in the South. He persisted, and was eventually contracted by the Giants. He had a career batting average of .297 and hit a ridiculous 392 home runs. Orlando also played in 11 All-Star games and was voted league MVP in 1967. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t allowed to stay in hotels in Alabama in the 50’s.

Tony Perez

Tony is one of four Cuban in the Hall of Fame along with Jose Mendez, Cristobal Torriente, and Martin Dihigo. Tony was part of the Cincinnati Red’s “Big Red Machine” in the 70’s, when the Reds won the World Series four times in a seven year stretch. The guy is also one of the leading RBI champs of all time, hitting over a 100 a season over his entire career. That’s redonkulous, (I realize that’s not a word, but that’s how good he was). He had a career batting average of .279 and went to the All-Star game 7 times. He is also from my mom’s hometown of Ciego De Avila, which is nice for that two horse town. It was a one horse town until they got a second one in 1959. Both horses were subsequently eaten in 1971.

Roberto Alomar

The latest member of the Hall of Fame is considered by many to be the greatest second baseman in history. He came from a baseball family. His dad and brother, Sandy Alomar Sr. and Sandy Alomer Jr., also playing in the big leagues. He had a career .307 batting average and was in the All-Star game 12 times. He also had 13 Golden Glove Awards and 2 World series wins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in only his second year of eligibility, which is pretty amazing. Plus, he once spit in an umpire’s face after the he called him by a racial slur. Don’t take crap from anyone, Roberto.

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