Latino Baseball Legends: An Encyclopedia by Lew Freedman

By Lew Freedman

Told via profiles of the boys who've made it a truth, this is often the advanced tale of the triumphs accomplished by―and demanding situations confronted by―Latinos who've risen to the heights of significant League Baseball.

• Alphabetically prepared, 3000-word profiles of the 25 most important figures of Latin American history within the historical past of baseball

• seventy five shorter profiles of extra Latin American baseball figures of importance

• Photographs

• A complete bibliography of books, newspaper articles, and journal reports

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Monterrey is located about 120 miles from Texas, so there was some back-and-forth documented. It certainly would have been a change for Expos players to move from a predominantly French-speaking city to a predominantly Spanish-speaking city, but Monterrey’s effort failed. C. and became the Washington Nationals. Baseball has been popular in Mexico for well over a century, but the caliber of play in the Mexican League has fluctuated wildly. Before Jackie Robinson’s ascension to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, the Mexican League was often a haven for top Negro Leagues players.

So the Pirates offered no contract. In the late 1950s, as Castro fomented unrest in the hinterlands against the regime of Fulgencio Batista, he rallied students for a change in government. Periodically, he appeared at local ballparks with groups of agitating young people. Don Hoak, who played winter ball in Cuba and was the third baseman on the Pirates’ 1960 World Series championship team, recounted a tale where he was in the batter’s box when the game was interrupted by student demonstrations.

To provide the Mexican League with more credibility he set out to steal players from the United States. S. players had to seek winter jobs when their season ended, he found a receptive audience when he waved around 24 Mexico and Big Thinkers in Monterrey contracts for $10,000 or more. Pasquel thought big and even tried to seduce Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio into abandoning their American League franchises to play in Mexico. They ignored his entreaties. Others did not. S. players jumped to the Mexican League in the 1940s, their departure caused great concern among Major League owners.

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