Personality News

(NBHOF Library)

By Amanda Rodriguez 

Hector Lopez broke barriers on and off the field in a big league career that saw him become a national hero in his home country of Panama. 

Before making a name for himself with the great New York Yankees teams of the early 1960s, Lopez established himself as the first ever Panamanian starter in the major leagues. This was achieved in 1955 when Lopez joined the Kansas City Athletics. 

(NBHOF Library)

By Connor O’Gara

(NBHOF Library)

By Connor O’Gara

Ozzie Virgil Sr. is not remembered for his 14 career home runs and .231 batting average. He isn’t remembered for his ability to play nearly every position on the field. And Virgil isn’t remembered for his 19-year coaching career after his playing days were over.  

That’s because Virgil’s place in baseball history trumps any sort of measurable statistic. 

Virgil was not only the first non-white player to ever suit up for the Detroit Tigers, he was also the first Dominican Republic native to ever play in the major leagues. 

(NBHOF Library)

By Cassidy Lent 

Orlando Hernandez entered the big leagues to great fanfare after defecting from his Cuban home. 

And El Duque lived up to the advance billing. 

After establishing himself as a major star in the Cuban leagues and leading Cuba to the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Hernandez defected to Costa Rica and eventually the United States in 1997. He quickly signed a four-year, $6.6 million contract with the Yankees. 

(NBHOF Library)

By Amanda Rodriguez 

The comparison is a distinction unlike any other in baseball. 

Hector Espino was called – simply – “The Mexican Babe Ruth.” 

Statistics from his era can be somewhat imperfect, but Espino is credited with 484 home runs in the summer Mexican League, as well as 310 additional bombs in the winter Mexican Pacific League. 

By Max Miller 

Jorge Pasquel was one of five wealthy brothers who inherited the fortune of their father, a shipping magnate. The brothers reportedly built their fortune up to $60 million by acting in effect as customs control for Mexico. 

(NBHOF Library)

By Connor O’Gara 

Sandy Alomar Sr. knew a thing or two about adjusting to change. He knew how to adjust his throw to avoid a baserunner sliding into second base. He knew how to adapt to any position he was asked to play in the field. He even knew how to adjust and thrive playing baseball in a foreign land without any previous knowledge of the English language.

(NBHOF Library)

By Cassidy Lent

Dennis Martinez was El Presidente, and not even the most powerful man in Martinez’s home nation of Nicaragua could rival the durable right-handed pitcher’s popularity in that Central American country.

George Herman Babe Ruth was an American original, baseball's first great slugger and the most celebrated athlete of his time. (NBHOF Library)

You don’t earn nicknames like “The Sultan of Swat,” “The Colossus of Clout” or “The Great Bambino” from doing the ordinary.

Babe Ruth was not only a baseball legend, he was a giant of the game and American culture. Some of the wild and outrageous stories about him are true. Some are not. And many fall somewhere in between.

(NBHOF Library)

By Connor O’Gara

Mike Gonzalez wore a lot of different hats throughout his time in Major League Baseball. As a catcher, Gonzalez played for five different clubs in a career that spanned 20 years. After his playing days were over, the Havana, Cuba native spent 20 more years coaching baseball, including stints in 1938 and 1940 when he served as the interim manager for the St. Louis Cardinals. The managerial hat was a rarity for Latinos as Gonzalez became one of the first pioneers in that category in Major League Baseball.

Syndicate content