Hispanics In The Baseball Hall Of Fame: A Look At The Legendary Latino Players (PHOTOS)
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Roberto Clemente. Rod Carew. Tony Perez.
Their names have gone down in baseball legend, but as it turns out, these three greats have more in common that simply the love of the game: they are also three of the Baseball Hall of Fame's inductees to have Hispanic-American backgrounds.
Their accomplishments are indeed remarkable. Known as "the Great One," the Puerto Rican-born Clemente had a stellar batting average of .350 three years (in 1961, 1967 and 1970), while Perez, who is of Cuban descent, hit a staggering 40 home runs in his top 1970 season. Born to a Panamanian mother on a train in the town of Gatún, Carew amassed 3,053 career hits in his 12 seasons with the Minnesota Twins and seven with the California Angels.
As The New York Times reported, two other baseball greats -- Ted Williams and Reggie Jackson -- were both of Hispanic heritage, but drew little attention to their personal backgrounds throughout their stellar careers.
Take a look at the Hispanic-born inductees of the Baseball Hall of Fame here:
The first Latin American player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Clemente is <a href="http://www.latinosportslegends.com/clemente.htm" target="_hplink">often referred to</a> as "The Great One." Born in Puerto Rico, Clemente played with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the entire duration of his career (1955-72), during which he hit .350 three times (in 1961, 1967 and 1970) and won 12 consecutive gold glove awards.
Marichal, who is of Dominican descent, played with the San Francisco Giants most of his career. "The Dominican Dandy," as he came to be known, was renowned for his high leg kick, pinpoint control and intimidation tactics toward opposing players.
Born in Venezuela, Aparicio's career in Major League Baseball spanned an astonishing three decades, from 1956 through 1973. A Chicago White Sox (1956-1962, 1968-1970), Baltimore Orioles (1963-1967) and Boston Red Sox (1971-1973) veteran, Aparicio holds the<a href="http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Luis_Aparicio_1934" target="_hplink"> lifetime shortstop records</a> for games, double plays, and assists and the AL records for putouts and total chances.
The Panama-born Carew was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. During his <a href="http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Rod_Carew_1945" target="_hplink">18-year career</a>, Carew played for the Minnesota Twins (1967-1978) and for the California Angels (1978-1985), and finished with a batting average of .328.
During his astonishing career, Cepeda was selected to play in seven Major League Baseball All-Star Games during his career, becoming the first Puerto Rican player to start one. Nicknamed "the Baby Bull," Cepeda played with the San Francisco Giants (1958-66), St. Louis Cardinals (1966-68), Atlanta Braves (1969-72), Oakland Athletics (1972), Boston Red Sox (1973), and Kansas City Royals (1974) over the course his 16-year career.
The Cuban-born Perez was a <a href="http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Tony_Perez_1942" target="_hplink">key member</a> of Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine," and in 1970, he hit .317 with 40 home runs (his top season). Apart from his two stint with the Cincinnati Reds (1964-76 and 1984-86), Perez also played for the Montreal Expos, the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. Often compared to Orlando Cepeda, Perez retired in 1986 with a .279 batting average.
The Boston Red Sox legend (and two-time American League Most Valuable Player) was part Mexican, but as <em>The New York Times</em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/26/sports/baseball/26latino.html" target="_hplink"> reported</a>, he never made a point of letting his heritage be known. Williams (right) had a career batting average of .344, with 521 home runs.
Known as "Mr. October," Jackson -- whose grandmother was Puerto Rican -- helped win two consecutive World Series titles with the New York Yankees, and his stunning career included a staggering 563 home runs. Along with Williams, he was omitted from Major League Baseball's 2005 ballot for the "Latino Legends" team. While he <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/26/sports/baseball/26latino.html" target="_hplink">claimed not to have been offended </a>by the oversight, he told <em>The New York Times</em>, "They have no right to pass judgment on what I claim about my Latin heritage...I just don't run my mouth off about it."
Martin Dihigo (photo not available)
The Cuban-born Dihigo (1906-1971) is known as one of the most versatile baseball players of all time, and has been elected to the Mexican, Cuban, and American Baseball Halls of Fame. Though statistics documenting his career are limited, Dihigo is believed to have had a .302 batting average with 130 home runs, and a .673 pitching mark, <a href="http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Martin_Dihigo_1905" target="_hplink">according to BaseballLibrary.com</a>.
Correction: The slideshow has been updated to include Jackson and Williams, who had been previously omitted.