By Efrain Nieves & Victoria Cepeda
As we take a break and fall into the middle of Baseball season, we start to reflect on the past time of Baseball. Many of us grew up learning of great Latino Baseball players such as Roberto Clemente, Fernando Valenzuela, Juan Marichal. With only a small percentage of players, Latinos still held a strong presence.
But in 1990, Latinos represented 13% of Major League Baseball players and today that number has risen to 28%. This week’s all-star roster also had a strong latino presence with 21 out of 70 players representing nuestra raza.
Latinos also dominated the All-star week with Robinson Cano, winning the Home Run Derby. Cano hails from San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. Also in the spotlight is another Dominican, Jose Bautista . With 31 home runs and an average of .334, all eyes are on Bautista to break records this year.
With baseball being one of our favorite sports, it is no surprise the number of Latino players is only expected to rise. Let’s take the Mets’ Ruben Tejada and Tiger’s pitcher Al Albuquerque as example of young Latinos dominating baseball.
Former player and manager of the Chicago White Sox Ozzie Guillen (who is Venezuelan) said it best last year when he stated ” American people are going to need a visa to play this game because we’re going to take over.” From the looks of it, Guillen’s forecast is not far from becoming a reality.
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