#Shortstops: Words of a diverse game
Baseball fans fawn over Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played, Cy Young’s 511 career victories, Ted Williams’ .406 batting average, and so on. Perhaps more importantly, however, baseball prizes firsts: the first Hall of Fame class, with icons like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Christy Mathewson; Ruth, the first player to hit 500 home runs; and of course, Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in the modern major leagues.
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Today, Latino players are integral to baseball, and Spanish-language broadcasters play essential roles in bringing the game to players’ home countries: the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama and more.
Many years after Cárdenas’ breakthrough, José Mota, a Dominican broadcaster with the Los Angeles Angels, made history of his own.
On Aug. 19, 2017, Mota became the first play-by-play announcer to broadcast an MLB game in both Spanish and English. Mota, who handled the Angels’ radio broadcasts in both languages, also worked as a color analyst on the team’s English and Spanish television broadcasts.
With players like David Ortiz, Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols soon to be Hall of Fame-eligible, and young stars like Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. currently lighting up stat sheets, it’s safe to say that this number will only increase.
Mota, meanwhile, translated for Guerrero, a fellow Dominican, during the 2018 Induction Ceremony.
Garrett Allen was a 2019 programming intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development