Latin Players

Latin players have made a huge impact on the game. The first Latin ball player in the Major Leagues was Luis Castro who played with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1902. Castro was born in Medellin, Columbia.

Since then, many Latin born ball players have played Major League Baseball. There are approximately 150 Latin born players in the Major Leagues today. And many of them are stars and possibly future Hall of Famers.

Albert Pujols, for example was born in the Dominican Republic. Adrian Gonzales of the San Diego Padres is from Mexico. Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada were born in Puerto Rico. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez are also from the Dominican Republic. These are just a few.

There are seven Latin born Major Leaguers that have been inducted into baseball's Hall Of Fame. Puerto Rican born Roberto Clemente was the first Latin elected to the Hall Of Fame in 1973. Roberto was a four time batting champion and a 12 time Gold Glove winner. After he died in a plane crash, Clemente was unanimously elected to the Hall Of Fame. The five year waiting period a player has to wait for entry into the Hall was waived for Roberto. Since this rule was added, he is the only player to have it waived.

Roberto Clemente was also the first Latin player to win a World Series as a starter with the Pirates in 1960. He's also the first Latin to win a League Most Valuable Player Award (1966), and to win a World Series MVP (1971)

Pitcher and Dominican born Juan Marichal was the second Latin inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. Juan was an eleven time All Star and won the All Star game MVP award in 1965. His lifetime earned run average was 2.89. He won 243 games and struck out 2,303.

Cuban born Tony Perez was inducted in 2000. He was most known for his years with Cincinnati's Big Red Machine. Perez batted .279 with 379 home runs and 1,652 runs batted in.

Rod Carew was from Panama and was elected in 1991. Rod won seven batting titles, finished with a career .328 average and 3,053 hits. In 1972 Carew did something that no player had done and hasn't done since. He won the batting title without hitting a single home run. He was the American League's Rookie Of The Year in 1967 and the Most Valuable Player in 1977.

Born in Puerto Rico, Orlando Cepeda entered the Hall Of Fame in 1999. Cepeda was the National league's Rookie Of The Year in 1958 and won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1967. He has a career .297 batting average, 379 home runs and 1,365 runs batted in.

Luis Aparicio was born in Venezuela and was elected to the Hall in 1984. Luis was the 1956 American League Rookie Of The Year and won nine Gold Gloves. He finished with 2,677 hits and led the American League in stolen bases nine consecutive seasons.

There are three other Latin players in the Hall Of Fame. Martin DiHigo, Cristobal Torriente and Jose Mendez, all from Cuba, were Negro league stars but never played in the Major Leagues.

With all the great Latin players in today's game, I'm sure this list is about to grow.

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