Miami – On a night when the Latin Lords of baseball were honored, Dominican Don Robinson Cano capped the 88th MLB All-Star game with a clutch 10th inning homer that lifted the American League to a 2-1 win over the National League on Tuesday night at Marlins Park in Miami.
Eight of the greatest living Latin legends gathered on the infield before the game to be honored and throw out first pitches to the current Latin Lords of the game. And then they embraced, fusing the old school pioneers with the new school superstars who are continuing the rich, plentiful and trailblazing tradition that has helped shape, grow and diversify the sport of baseball over the past two decades.
It was only fitting that one of baseballs most recognizable and premier Latin superstars provided the game-winning blast and all of the excitement the night needed. Cano’s home run ended in a 1-1 pitchers duel that rendered the talented crushers of each league helpless against the array of golden arms compiled to derail the offensive energy and power provisions that ruled social media and TV ratings, and captivated the sports world in the Home Run Derby just one night prior.
Hall of Famer Juan Marichal once said of Latino baseball players: “We have passion for this game.”
Daily Recap: Robinson Cano earned MVP honors as his go-ahead home run in the 10th inning sent the American League to a 2-1 victory Check out http://MLB.com/video for more! About MLB.com: Former Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced on January 19, 2000, that the 30 Major League Club owners voted unanimously to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations into an independent technology company.
That passion was on full display during a pregame ceremony, emceed by announcer Joe Buck and featuring a video narrated by Andy Garcia, and then when Puerto Rican native Yadier Molina blasted his first All-Star homer, off Minnesota righthander Ervin Santana over the right-field fence to tie the game. It was the first homer by a Cardinals player in an All-Star game since Reggie Smith went yard at Pittsburghs Three Rivers Stadium in a National League win in 1974.
The Latin Hall of Fame MLB players were recognized and celebrated for their historic contributions to the game. Roberto Alomar, Lus Aparcio, Rod Carew, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez, Tony Perez and Ivan Rodriguez were greeted by the fans in an All-Star game that saw 23 foreign-born players from the Dominican Republic (10), Venezuela (4), Puerto Rico (3), Curacao (2), Canada (1), Cuba (1), Japan (1) and Mexico.
The late, great Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente was represented by his wife and MLB Goodwill Ambassador Vera Clemente, and sons Roberto Jr., Luis and Roberto Enrique.
The late Martn Dihigo (El Maestro), Jose Mendez and Cristobal Torriente, Latino Hall of Famers who played in the Negro Leagues, were also recognized.
“With the rich ethnic diversity that exists in Miami, this All-Star Game provides a great opportunity to celebrate the significant contribution that Latin Americans have made to Major League Baseball,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “This group of Hall of Famers served as outstanding role models for MLB’s current crop of Latino players, who are some of the game’s brightest stars.”
Its the age of the Hispanic baller in MLB, as nearly three out of every 10 players on 2017 MLB Opening Day rosters were foreign-born. And of that 29.8 percent, more than 87 percent of the 227 players are Hispanics, and speak Spanish.
In the 88th All-Star game, the American League takes down the NL with a 2-1 victory behind a Robinson Cano 10th inning home run.
The MLB dominance of Hispanic players cant be ignored. A sport that was once considered America’s pastime has opened the floodgates for Hispanic participation and leading the way for the 23rd year in a row was the Dominican Republic (93 players, 10.7 percent of MLB rosters), Venezuela (77 or 8.9 percent, its highest ever), Cuba (23, matching its highest total, 2.6 percent), Puerto Rico (16, 1.8 percent) and Mexico (9, 1.0 percent).
TSLs commitment to highlighting people of color who excel in all phases of life isnt limited to just African-American players. This is the age of the Latin Lords and a time for the players of yesteryear, who set the stage for MLBs current Latin explosion, to be recognized and celebrated for their passion, perseverance, persistence and perfectly potent contribution to the ever-evolving sport of baseball.