Baseball is a game that has had a long history in several countries in Latin America and has made great impact on the lives of baseball players, their families as well as their countries of origin.
Today, the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente is the premier professional baseball league in Puerto Rico. It was previously known as the Professional Baseball League of Puerto Rico before being renamed in 2008 as Puerto Rico Baseball League. It was only in May 2012 that the current name started to be used. There are form teams presently playing in the league, with the champion participating in the Caribbean Series or Serie del Caribe, played by winning teams from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
Baseball came to Puerto Rico near the end of the 19th century. The Borinquen Baseball Club owned by Santos Filippi and the Almendares Baseball Club owned by Francisco Alamo Armas were the first two amateur baseball clubs that formed in 1897. It was at the old velodrome in Santurce, San Juan that the first organized Puerto Rico baseball game was played on January 11, 1898. The Borinquen team beat Almendares at 3-0. Then on January 30, 1898, the first game completed with 9 innings was played. Again, Borinquen beat Almendares at 9-3.
It was Enrique Huyke, a Mayagüez professor, who first suggested setting up an organized Puerto Rican baseball league. This idea was supported by the Commission on Recreation and Sports president, Teofilo Maldonado. Huyke, together with Gabriel Castro, scouted for potential clubs to include in the league. Their efforts came to fruition in 1938, when Liga de Béisbol Semiprofesional de Puerto Rico (LBSPR), was formed. The semi-professional baseball league originally had six teams: Guayama Witches or Brujos de Guayama, Caguas Creoles (Criollos de Caguas), Mayagüez Indians (Indios de Mayagüez), Ponce Lions or Leones de Ponce, Grises Orientales de Humacao or the Humacao Oriental Grays, and the San Juan Senatores or Senadores de San Juan.
Tiburones de Aguadilla or the Aguadilla Sharks and Cangrejeros de Santurce or the Santurce Crabbers became league members during the 1939-1940 season. In 1939, the longest game was played by Humacao Oriental Grays and San Juan Senators – 18 innings in four hours. Luis Cabrera from the Santurce Crabbers, was the first player to win the LBSPR MVP Award. In 1941, the league was elevated to a professional status and renamed itself Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico (LBPPR). LBPPR was suspended during the 2007-2008 season due to reduced attendance and profits for the past ten years. For a year, the organization worked on marketing plans and focused on reorganization and restructuring. To help the LBPPR, the Major League offered to increase publicity efforts. The renewed league resumed operations in time for the 2008-2009 season, this time under the name Puerto Rico Baseball League (PRBL).
As of May 2012, the organization changed its name yet again to Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (LBPRC), in honor of former MLB player and Hall of Famer, Roberto Clemente. The league currently has four teams: Leones de Ponce, Criollos de Caguas, Indios de Mayagüez, and Gigantes de Carolina or Carolina Giants. Ponce was once the strongest team in the league. In recent years, Caguas and Mayagüez have emerged as the strongest teams in the league. Caguas currently holds fifteen national league titles and three Caribbean World Series titles, while Mayagüez holds seventeen national league titles and two Caribbean World Series titles. The 2012 league champion is Mayagüez.
In the early years of baseball in Puerto Rico, first year baseball players were required to be included in the league draft as the country in under United States jurisdiction. Hiram “Hi” Bithorn and Luis Olmo were the first Puerto Rican baseball players to get into the Major League. In the LBPPR, they played for the Senadores de San Juan and the Criollos de Caguas teams. Bithorn became the youngest manager in the LBSPR at the age of 22. He made history by becoming the first Puerto Rican to play in the Major League, debuting as pitcher for the Chicago Cubs on April 15, 1942. In 1943, he led the NL with seven shutouts. Olmo was the second Puerto Rican to play in the Major League and debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on July 23, 1943. He led the NL in 13 triples in 1945, and played in the 1949 World Series, making him the first Puerto Rican to do so. Millito Navarro was also one of the LBPPR’s key players who became the first Puerto Rican to make it into the Negro Leagues.
Victor Felipe Pellot Pove, best known as “Vic Power,” was a six-time All-Star player in 1955 and 1956; twice in 1959 as well as in 1960. He was also a seven-time consecutive Gold Glove Award recipient from 1958 until 1964 and the 1962 Minnesota Twins MVP. He was a legend for being the first Puerto Rican to play in the American League, and the second black Puerto Rican in the Major League.
Pellot was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico on November 1, 1927. He showed an interest in baseball at an early age, though his father wouldn’t allow him to play and even punished him when he was caught playing baseball. The only time Pellot was able to pursue baseball freely was after his father died when he was thirteen. In 1946, he practiced and learned basic skills with the Senadores de San Juan, a local baseball team. He played for the Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rico Baseball League afterwards, and was eventually spotted by a scout for the New York Yankees. He left Puerto Rico for Chicago in 1949, and played for Drummondville, Quebec’s minor league team. In 1951, Pellot signed with the New York Yankees and assigned to the Triple-A team in Syracuse, New York. He was the minor league batting champion in 1953.
The Philadelphia Athletics recruited Pellot in 1954, and he debuted as first baseman on April 13, 1954. In 1955, the team moved to Kansas City and became the Kansas City Athletics. That same season, he finished second in batting and hit both a leadoff and walk-off home run in a single game. Pellot used his right arm for hitting and throwing the ball. His trademark move was fielding the ball with only one hand instead of two, a very unusual move at that time. It allowed him greater flexibility and reach. Nowadays, all first basemen field the ball using his technique. Pellot experienced blatant racial discrimination during the 1950s. He couldn’t stay at the same hotels, nor eat in the same restaurants as his white teammates. As his outlook in life, he dealt with it with a dark deadpan humor and a sharp wit. He retired from his playing career in 1965.
After retiring, Pellot settled in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, where a ballpark was built and named after him, Parque Victor Pellot. He went on to coach baseball to young Puerto Ricans. His students included former MLB players Roberto Alomar, José Cruz, Willie Montañez, Jerry Morales, and José Oquendo. Pellot died of cancer in his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 29, 2005. He is considered one of the best Puerto Rican baseball players of all-time.
In his twelve-season career in MLB, Pellot played with the Philadelphia/Kansas City Athletics, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, and California Angels. His last MLB appearance was with the California Angels on October 3, 1965. His MLB career statistics include 1,716 hits, 658 RBIs, 126 home runs, and a .284 batting average. His record also includes making one or more assists in sixteen consecutive games, two unassisted double plays in a single game, stealing the home plate twice in a single game, and being the assists leader for six consecutive seasons.
Roberto Clemente Walker, dubbed as “The Great One”, was a fifteen-time All-Star player, selected twice from 1960-1962, in 1963 to1967 and from 1969 to1972 and twelve-time consecutive Gold Glove Award recipient from 1961 to 1972. He was also a two-time World Series champion in 1960 and 1971; four-time NL batting title winner in 1961, 1964, 1965 and in 1967; the 1966 NL MVP as well as the 1971 World Series MVP. He was likewise the recipient of the 1971 Babe Ruth Award. Roberto Clemente was the first Hispanic to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. He was also the first Hispanic to receive an MVP award and a World Series MVP award, and win his starter World Series title.
Clemente was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico on August 18, 1934. He was the youngest child in a brood of seven. He showed an early interest in baseball and began by competing against neighborhood barrios. Clemente was discovered by an employee of the Sello Rojo Rice Company while he was playing in Barrio San Anton, and recruited him to play with the Sello Rojo softball team. He played shortstop for the team for two years before joining the Ferdinand Juncos in Puerto Rico’s amateur baseball league when he was sixteen. In 1952, he attended a tryout camp sponsored by the Santurce Crabbers and Brooklyn Dodgers, and managed by Al Campanis. Campanis was initially impressed with Clemente’s five-tool skills and wanted to sign him on the spot, but Clemente’s father wanted him to finish high school first. Before the year ended, he started playing with the Santurce Crabbers in the Puerto Rico Baseball League. By 1954, Pedrín Zorilla, owner of the Crabbers, had him signed with the Triple-A Montreal Royals. Pittsburgh Pirates coach Clyde Sukeforth spotted him while scouting another player. Clemente debuted as a right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 17, 1955. In his first game, he recorded his first career hit and extra base hit.
Although Clemente had a good rookie year, he had a hard time transitioning from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainly due to racial discrimination from some teammates, fans, local law enforcement, and even the media. In 1956, he became the only player to hit a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam at Forbes Field. In 1959, he hit one of the longest home runs in the history of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. In 1960, he led the NL batters with a batting average of .353 during the month of May. As a result he was named NL Player of the Month by The Sporting News. He was also selected for his first All-Star game and won his first World Series title, making him the first Latin American to win a World Series title as a starter. In 1961, Clemente won his first NL Batting title and Gold Glove Award, and got his third and fourth All-Star selections. In 1964, he played part-time for the Senadores de San Juan and managed the team, too. In 1966, he got his tenth All-Star selection, sixth Gold Glove Award, and became the first Hispanic to win an MVP Award. He finished the season with a .317 batting average and career-highs in RBIs with 119) and 29 home runs. In 1967, he finished the season with 110 RBIs, 23 home runs, and a career-high in batting average, recording .357. During the 1960s, he always batted at over .300 except in 1968, because of an injury. He led the league in assists four times, the NL in batting average four times and the NL in hits twice. In 1971, he got his fourteenth All-Star selection and became the first Hispanic to win a World Series MVP. He finished the series with 29 at-bats, 12 hits, and a .414 batting average. He also won his eleventh Gold Glove Award, second World Series title, and the Babe Ruth Award. In 1972, he marked his 3,000th career hit and finished the season with a .312 batting average.
Aside from baseball, Clemente is also very involved in charity work in his home country and other Latin American countries, providing food and baseball equipment to the poor. On December 31, 1972, he was en route to provide aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. Immediately after takeoff, the plane he boarded crashed off the coast of Isla Verde, in Puerto Rico. The plane had many technical problems, was 4,200 pounds overloaded, and was managed by subpar flight personnel. On the day of his memorial service, his close friend and Pirates teammate, catcher Manny Sanguillen, refused to attend and dove into the waters where Clemente’s plane crashed, in an attempt to find his body. His body was never recovered. In 1973, Clemente was inducted posthumously into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the first Hispanic player to be given the honor. That same year, the Roberto Clemente Award was created and given annually to a Major League player who best exemplifies humanitarian efforts. He was also posthumously awarded with the first Presidential Citizens Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1973, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002, and the Commissioner’s Historical Achievement Award in 2006. He was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Hall of Fame and the U.S. Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame. He became a member of the MLB All-Century Team in 1999, the Major League’s Latino Legends Team in 2005, and the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team in 2007. In 1999, he ranked 20th in the list of 100 Greatest Baseball Players compiled by The Sporting News. Clemente has two statues of himself. One is near the Roberto Clemente Bridge at PNC Park, the home ballpark of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the other at Branch Brook Park in New Jersey. Many baseball landmarks are named after him: the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx, the Robert Clemente Stadium and Ciudad Deportiva Roberto Clemente (Roberto Clemente Sports Complex) in Carolina, and the Roberto Clemente Memorial Park and Roberto Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh. There are also some schools named after him. Clemente’s inspiring but short life has been the subject of biographies, documentaries, and even films.
Clemente used his right arm for hitting and throwing the ball. He was married and had three children. His Pittsburgh Pirates #21 jersey has been retired.
In his eighteen-season career in MLB, Clemente played only with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His last MLB appearance with the Pirates was on October 3, 1972. His MLB career statistics include 3,000 hits, 1,305 RBIs, 240 home runs, and a .317 batting average. He set many all-time records with the Pirates including most hits in two consecutive games with 10 and most triples in a game with three. He’s also tied with center fielder Willie Mays for most Gold Glove Awards among outfielders.
Orlando Manuel Cepeda Pennes is an eleven-time All-Star player having been selected twice in 1959 until 1962 and then in 1963, 1964, 1967). He also played in and was the 1967 World Series champion, the 1967 NL MVP, and the 1958 NL Rookie of the Year. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.
n his seventeen-season career in MLB, Cepeda played with the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, and St. Louis Cardinals. His last MLB appearance was with the Kansas City Royals on September 19, 1974. His MLB career statistics include 1,365 RBIs, 379 home runs, and a .297 batting average.
Cepeda was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on September 17, 1937. He played baseball at a young age and was inspired by Pedro Cepeda, his father, who was one of the best professional baseball players in Puerto Rico during his time. The young Cepeda’s first taste of professional baseball was when he first watched his father play in a game in 1946. Many players from the Negro Leagues also visited his father in their home. Not long after, Pedro Zorilla, owner of the Cangrejeros de Santurce (Santurce Crabbers), spotted him during an amateur baseball game. Zorilla took him into the team to serve as batboy. Growing up, Cepeda was a fan of Cuban MLB player, Minnie Miñoso. Cepeda also played in the Cuban and Negro Leagues. After attending a New York Giants tryout, he started playing for minor league baseball teams. He had a hard time adjusting, mainly due to racial discrimination and not being able to speak English. He was also depressed after his father died of malaria in Puerto Rico and his mother was experiencing financial difficulties, which greatly affected his performance. He wanted to quit and return home. Zorilla convinced him to stay and he was assigned to the Kokoma Giants in the Mississippi-Ohio League. In 1956, he became the second Puerto Rican to win the Minor League Baseball Triple Crown Award. He finished with 112 RBIs, 26 home runs, and a .355 batting average. Cepeda debuted as first baseman for the San Francisco Giants on April 15, 1958. He finished with 96 RBIs, 25 home runs, a .312 batting average, and led the NL with 38 doubles. He won the Rookie of the Year Award and was dubbed “Most Valuable Giant” by the San Francisco Examiner. He was able to buy a new house for his mother with his salary. That same year, Cepeda also won the Puerto Rico Baseball League batting title with .362, while helping Santurce win the league championship title.
The next season, Cepeda was selected for his first of eleven All-Star games, making him the first Puerto Rican player to start in an All-Star game and play in two positions: first baseman and left fielder. In 1961, he led the league in RBIs with 142, 46 home runs as well as a 7.9 home run average. He also got his fifth and sixth All-Star selections.
He ended his first season with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966 with 123 games and a .303 batting average. He was named the NL Comeback Player of the Year that same year. The following year his team became World Series champion, he bagged an NL MVP Award and got his 11th All-Star selection. In 1973 while playing with the Oakland Athletics, Cepeda was the first player to sign on exclusively as a designated hitter, and went on to be named as the Designated Hitter of the Year, finishing the season with 550 at-bats, 86 RBIs, 20 home runs and a batting average of .289. When he hit his 20th home run, it became a Major League record, being the first player to reach 20 or more homeruns playing for four different teams.
Cepeda was a right-handed hitter and thrower. He is married thrice and has three children. He converted to Nichiren Buddhism in 1983. In 1987, he started serving as scout and goodwill ambassador for the Giants. His humanitarian efforts have been recognized as he supports various causes. He was given the Ernie Banks Positive Image Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. In 1999, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He is the Puerto Rican player with the most Halls of Fame membership with 14, inducted in his home country and in the United States. In 2008, the San Francisco Giants retired his jersey #30, which now decorates the upper deck façade of the left field corner of AT&T Park. That same year, the Giants unveiled a statue of him, making him the fourth player to be honored with his own statue. Cepeda is still a member of the Giants’ front office staff and continues to participate in the team’s spring training activities and other important events.
José Cruz Dilan, also known as “Cheo Cruz”, is an All-Star player in 1980 as well as in 1985. The left-handed batter and hitter, played as an outfielder during his career. He is a winner of the Silver Slugger Award in 1983 and in 1984. Cruz played for 19 seasons in the MLB, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros and the New York Yankees, making his last MLB appearance with the latter on July 19, 1988. His MLB career statistics include 2,251 hits, 1,077 RBIs, 165 home runs, and a .284 batting average. His son, José Jr., was a former MLB outfielder. His other son, José Enrique, is a minor league infielder for the New York Mets.
Cruz was born in Arroyo, Puerto Rico on August 8, 1947. His younger brothers are former MLB outfielders Tommy and Héctor Cruz. Cheo Cruz debuted as outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals on September 19, 1970. During the 1980 NLCS, he batted at .400. During that same year Cruz was likewise selected for his first All-Star game. His excellent performance earned him his first Silver Slugger Award in 1983.
During his time, Cruz was the most famous baseball player after Roberto Clemente. He became the player with the most games played in the history of the Houston Astros for some time until his record was broken by Astros catcher/outfielder/second baseman Craig Biggio in 2001. After retiring from his playing career, he served as first base coach for the Houston Astros in 2000. Cruz was the first base coach when Craig Biggio broke many of Cruz’s long-standing Houston Astros records including most at-bats, hits, and total bases. Cruz still has other records as an Astros player. He has the most triples at 80 and has 6 walk-off home runs. His last career home run in 1988 was considered as a pinch-hit grand slam.
After Cruz retired from his professional baseball career, he served as manager in the Puerto Rican Winter League and Texas-Louisiana League. He returned to the Astros as a coach. His Houston Astros #25 jersey was retired in 1992. In 1999, he was chosen as one of three outfielders in the All-Astrodome team. In 2002, he was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame the following year. He coached team Puerto Rico in the 2006 World Baseball Classic where his son José Cruz Jr. was part of the team. José Cruz is currently a special assistant for the Astros.
Benito Santiago Rivera is a five-time All-Star player from 1989 up to 1992 and in 2002. At the same time Santiago is a three-time consecutive Gold Glove Award recipient from 1988 until 1990. In 1987 and 1988 and again in 1990 and 1991, Santiago won the Silver Slugger Award. He received the NL Rookie of the Year in 1987 and in 2002 received the NLCS MVP Award.
Santiago had a long career in the MLB, playing for 20 seasons. He has had stints with the Chicago Cubs, played twice for the Cincinnati Reds and also played for the Florida Marlins, Kansas City Royals, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also played for the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays. He ended his professional baseball career on April 11, 2005 while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
His MLB career statistics include 6,051 at-bats, 1,830 hits, 920 RBIs, 217 home runs, a .987 fielding percentage, a .307 on-base percentage, and a .263 batting average in a total of 1,978 games played. He also led the NL catchers thrice in assists, and once in base runners caught stealing and fielding percentage. He ranks eighth in MLB’s all-time list of games caught (1,917), tying with catcher Brad Ausmus.
Santiago was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on March 9, 1965. In 1982, he was signed by the San Diego Padres as an amateur free agent. The right-handed thrower and hitter spent four seasons in the minor leagues before debuting at age 21 as catcher for the Padres on September 14, 1986. During his rookie season in 1987, he became the catcher with the longest hitting streak in MLB history when he hit safely in 34 consecutive games. He finished the season with career-highs with 164 hits, 33 doubles (164), doubles (33), and a .300 batting average. The year 1987 was a very productive one for Santiago for it was during that time that he won his first Silver Slugger Award and was likewise the recipient of the NLCS MVP and NL Rookie of the Year awards.
Santiago was known for both his strong defensive and offensive skills, especially his strong throwing arm and his signature of throwing out runners attempting to steal base while he’s in a kneeling position. In 1988, he surpassed the 30% league average, with a 45% average in assists and in base runners caught stealing. He also won his first Gold Glove Award and second Silver Slugger Award that year.
Santiago He was selected as starting catcher in his first All-Star game and won his second Gold Glove Award in 1989. During the late 1980s until the early 1990s, he was considered as the best catcher in the National League. In 1991, he led the league catchers with 100 assists and reached his career-high 87 RBIs. With the Philadelphia Phillies in 1996, he was the first player to hit a grand slam in a regular season. He also hit a home run in four consecutive at-bats in a single season. He finished with 85 RBIs and 30 home runs, which was one of his career high stats. In 2001, he won the Willie Mac Award for his leadership and spirit. In 2002, he was named NLCS MVP as he helped the San Francisco Giants win the NLCS title.
In 2003, it was implied in the book Game of Shadows, that he used performance-enhancing drugs. He was also mentioned in the Mitchell Report as one of the athletes who used anabolic steroids.
Rubén Angel Sierra García, nicknamed “El Caballo” and “El Indio,” is a four-time All-Star player, receiving the selection in 1989, 1991 and 1992, and again in 1994. He received the AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2001, and was the recipient of the 1989 Silver Slugger Award.
Sierra used his arm for throwing and switches his hands when hitting. In his 21-season career in the MLB, Sierra played thrice with the Texas Rangers and twice with the New York Yankees. He likewise played for the Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, and Minnesota Twins. His last MLB appearance was with the Minnesota Twins on July 9, 2006. He ended his MLB career with statistics that include 1,322 RBIs, 306 home runs, and a .268 batting average.
Sierra, born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, on October 6, 1965 was an athlete in high school and played baseball, volleyball, and basketball. In 1985, at age 20, he was signed by the Texas Rangers, debuting as an outfielder for the Rangers on June 1, 1986. He hit a home run in only his second MLB at-bat, making him the first Rangers player to do so. He had a good rookie season, finishing with 55 RBIs, 16 home runs, and a .264 batting average. In 1989, he led the league with his record of 119 RBIs, 78 extra bases and .543 in slugging. With the Rangers, he had three years of recording more than 100 RBIs. Despite being a decent power-hitter, Sierra was known as a “journeyman” because he was often traded to other teams. He contributed 17 homers to the240 homeruns amassed by the New York Yankees in 2004, playing as the designated hitter for 56 games. He contributed to the Yankees winning of the American League Division Series in 2004. He was released in 2005, though. That year was an injury-plagued season for Sierra, who only hit 4 homers.
Rubén Sierra was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2009.
Sandy Alomar, Jr.
Santos “Sandy” Alomar Velasquez, Jr. is a six-time All-Star player (1990-1992, 1996-1998), the 1990 AL Rookie of the Year, and 1997 MLB All-Star MVP.
Sandy Alomar, Jr. was born in Salinas, Puerto Rico on June 18, 1966. His father is former MLB second baseman, Sandy Alomar, Sr. His younger brother is former MLB second baseman and Hall of Famer, Robbie Alomar. Sandy Alomar, Jr. debuted as catcher for the San Diego Padres on September 30, 1988.
The right-handed hitter and thrower became a valuable catcher when he was declared Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America in 1988 and 1989. However, it was only in 1990 when he was acquired by the Cleveland Indians that he started becoming a regular player. He didn’t disappoint; winning a Rookie of the Year Award and getting his first All-Star game selection. The younger Alomar became the first rookie-starting catcher in an All-Star game. His performance slumped for a few seasons, compounded by various injuries. He eventually regained his strong form in 1997, batting at .324. He was named MVP in his fifth All-Star game held in his home ballpark. Alomar, Jr. became the first player to hit a home run during an All-Star game in his home stadium. He likewise had a 30-game hitting streak. In 2009, Sandy Alomar, Jr. was inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame.
In his nineteen-season career in MLB, Sandy Alomar, Jr. played thrice with the Chicago White Sox and had stints with the Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers. His last MLB appearance was with the New York Mets on September 30, 2007. His MLB career statistics include 588 RBIs, 112, home runs, and a .274 batting average.
After retiring from his playing career, he returned to the New York Mets to serve as catching instructor for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He is currently a bench coach in the Major League. He was first base coach to the Cleveland Indians in 2009, and promoted to bench coach for the Indians’ 2012 season.
Roberto “Robbie” Alomar Velázquez is a twelve-time consecutive All-Star player (1990-2001), ten-time Golden Glove Award recipient (1991-1996, 1998-2001), four-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (1992, 1996, 1999, 2000), two-time consecutive World Series champion (1992, 1993), 1992 ALCS MVP, and 1998 All-Star MVP. He has been awarded with the Toronto Blue Jays Level of Excellence. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011.
Robbie Alomar was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on February 5, 1968. He is a proud member of the Alomars who made names for themselves when they, too played for the MLB. Sandy Alomar, Sr., a former MLB second baseman, is his father. Former MLB catcher and Coach Sandy Alomar, Jr., is his older brother. In 1985, at age seventeen, he signed with the San Diego Padres and designated to the Class-A team in Charleston. In 1986, he won the California League batting title with a .346 average. Robbie Alomar debuted as second baseman for the Padres on April 22, 1988.
After Robbie Alomar’s debut, he quickly showed his heritage. He became known for having excellent defensive and fielding skills with great speed, a powerful arm with extended range, and solid batting skills. He was a switch hitter and used his right arm for throwing. Robbie Alomar received his first All-Star game selection in 1990 while with the San Diego Padres. With the Toronto Blue Jays, he developed into a stronger offensive second baseman with amazing speed, power, and an above .300 batting average. In his best season with the Jays, he recorded 93 RBIs, 55 stolen bases, 17 home runs, and a .326 batting average. In 1991, he won his first Gold Glove Award and got his second All-Star selection. He helped the Jays win World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, he got his third All-Star selection and won the ALCS MVP, his first Silver Slugger Award, and his second Gold Glove Award.
He was with the Baltimore Orioles in 1996 and 1997. There he formed a formidable double-play duo with fellow Orioles teammate Cal Ripken, Jr. In 1998, he was named MVP in his ninth All-Star game and won his seventh Golden Glove Award. Robbie Alomar had his best seasons with the Cleveland Indians, where he batted at .323, .422, and .533 with 120 RBIs, 37 stolen bases, and 24 home runs in 1999. He also got his tenth All-Star selection and won his eighth Gold Glove Award and third Silver Slugger Award.
In 2001, he batted at .336, .415, and .541 with 100 RBIs, 30 steals, and 20 home runs. He also got his 12th All-Star selection and tenth Gold Glove Award. He formed a formidable middle infield duo with shortstop Omar Vizquel. Together, they won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards, becoming one of MLB’s best second baseman-shortstop duos to do so in the same years. Robbie Alomar retired from his professional baseball career in 2004.
In 2008, Robbie Alomar was awarded the Level of Excellence by the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2010, he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. The Jays retired his jersey #12 in 2011, the first retired number in the team’s history. That same year, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming the third Puerto Rican to be given the honor. The 2011 Caribbean Series was also dedicated to him. He is the first Toronto Blue Jays member to get into the Hall of Fame. Many consider Robbie Alomar as the second best second baseman in MLB history, having won more awards than any other MLB second baseman.
His career in the MLB spanned 17 seasons, playing for eight MLB teams. His MLB career statistics include 2,724 hits, 1,134 RBIs, 474 stolen bases, 210 home runs, and a .300 batting average. His impressive record also includes batting over .300 for nine times, stealing 30 or more bases for eight times, scoring 100 or more runs for six times, posting over .400 on-base percentage for five times, and driving in 100 or more runs twice.
Robbie Alomar had stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox (twice), Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Toronto Blue Jays. His last MLB appearance was with the Chicago White Sox on September 5, 2004.
Bernabé “Bernie” Williams Figueroa, Jr. is a five-time consecutive All-Star player (1997-2001), four-time consecutive Gold Glove Award recipient (1996-2000), four-time World Series champion (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000), 1996 ALCS MVP, and recipient of the 2002 Silver Slugger Award.
Williams is married with three children. He is also a musician. His musical influences include jazz, pop, plus Brazilian and Latin music. After retiring from his professional baseball career, Williams studied classical guitar and composition for a year, then went on to produce his album, “Moving Forward.” Moving Forward is a collaboration with other musicians, which was released in 2009 and nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. In this album, he has a lullaby named after one of his daughters, which he recorded with his musician brother. Williams also co-authored a book with Bob Thompson and Dave Gluck, entitled “Rhythms of the Game.”
In his 16-season career in the MLB, Williams played with only one team, the New York Yankees. His last MLB appearance with the Yankees was on October 1, 2006, ending his professional baseball career with statistics that include 1,257 RBIs, 287 home runs, and a .297 batting average.
Bernie Williams, a right-handed thrower and switch hitter, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 13, 1968. Growing up, he loved music and sports. He played classical guitar and excelled in baseball and track and field. At age fifteen, he won medals at an international track competition and became one of the world’s best 400-meter runners during his time. He signed with the New York Yankees on his seventeenth birthday. He was delegated to the Double-A team in Albany, New York. Williams debuted as center fielder for the Yankees on July 7, 1991.
By 1993, Williams had become a regular center fielder for the team and by 1995 was leading the Yankees with a. 429 batting average. In a game against the Texas Rangers in 1996, he batted at .467. He was awarded the ALCS MVP, finishing with a batting average of .474 and 2 home runs. He also won his first World Series title. In 1997, he was selected for his first All-Star game and won his first Gold Glove Award. The year 1998 was a very great year for Williams, as he became the first player in MLB history to win three titles in the same year – a Gold Glove Award, a World Series title as well as a batting title. He also got his second All-Star selection that same year. In 2002, he won his only Silver Slugger Award. In 2006, he played for team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, marked his 2,300th career hit and 433rd career double. Williams became the second Yankee with the most doubles, and became the 11th MLB player to reach 2,300 career hits. In 2007, he reached his career-highs with 121 RBIs and 50 extra base hits.
Juan Alberto González Vázquez is a three-time All-Star player (1993, 1998, 2001), six-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (1992, 1993, 1996-1998, 2001), two-time AL MVP (1996, 1998), and the 1993 Home Run Derby winner.
González, who was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico on October 20, 1969, grew up in a rough neighborhood and strived to avoid negative influences like drugs and gangs. His parents made sure he and his sisters had a good upbringing. He went by the nickname “Igor” since he was nine years old when he got fascinated with a professional wrestler named “Igor the Magnificent.”
He spent 17 seasons in the MLB, playing twice for the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians and had stints with Detroit Tigers as well as the Kansas City Royals. His MLB career statistics include 1,404 RBIs, 434 home runs, and a .295 batting average. He ended his professional baseball career with the Cleveland Indians and played his last game on May 31, 2005.
He was 16 years of age in 1986 when he was signed up as an amateur free agent by the Texas Rangers and assigned to the GCL Rangers in the Gulf Coast League. In 1987 he was delegated to the Gastonia Rangers in the South Atlantic League; to the Charlotte Rangers in 1988 and with the Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League in 1989. González was nineteen when he debuted as outfielder for the Rangers on September 1, 1989. That season, he only hit one home run, which made it into the Rangers’ record of first home run by a teenager. He was a right-handed hitter and thrower.
In 1990, González was sent to the Oklahoma City 89ers in the minor league, where he became a regular player in 1991. He gave an excellent performance, finishing with 102 RBIs, 27 home runs, and a .264 batting average. He vastly improved in 1992, finishing with 109 RBIs, 43 home runs, and a .260 batting average, playing as a center fielder. He won his first Silver Slugger Award and led the Major League in home runs, making him the youngest player to do so since former MLB catcher Johnny Bench in 1970. In 1993, he again led the AL with 46 home runs and raised his batting average to .310, coupled with a slugging percentage of .632%.
González was selected for his first All-Star game in 1993. That same year he won his only Home Run Derby and second Silver Slugger Award. During the years 1995 up to 1998, he was a force to be reckoned with in RBIs, making him the first player since the Second World War to drive at least one RBI per game for four years. In 1996, he led the AL in with 99 total bases, 38 RBIs, 15 home runs, a .917 slugging percentage and a .407 batting average. He became AL Player of the Week (July 29-August 4), had two 21-game hitting streaks, and won his first AL MVP and third Silver Slugger Award.
He was also chosen for the MLB All-Star team that traveled to Japan and participated in an 8-game series. There he batted .500 with 3 RBIs and a home run. He ended the season with 557 at-bats, 370 total bases, 177 hits, 153 RBIs, 94 runs scored, 52 home runs, a .664 slugging percentage, and a.315 batting average to round up his 138 games. In September 1997, he was named AL Player of the Month and was the Rangers’ Player of the Month in August and September of that year. He also won his fourth Silver Slugger Award and finished with 314 total bases, 131 RBIs, 69 extra base hits, 42 home runs, 10 sacrifice flies, and a .296 batting average.
In 1998, González reached his 100th career RBI, got his second All-Star selection, and won his second AL MVP and fifth Silver Slugger Award. He finished the season with 382 total bases, 193 hits, 157 RBIs, 149 OPS, 97 extra base hits, 50 doubles, 45 home runs, 20 double plays, 11 sacrifice flies, and 9 intentional walks in 154 games. In April, he became the first MLB player with the most RBIs in a month, collecting 35. He became the first Rangers to win the team’s Player of the Year Award five times. He also became the first Latin American to win multiple MVPs, and the sixteenth MLB player to get two MVPs within three years.
He got his third All-Star selection and won his sixth Silver Slugger Award in 2001. He had a 15-game hitting streak from August to September that year, plus a 10 and 4-hitting game streak in April. He was also named the Cleveland Indians’ Player of the Year by Baseball America.
González has been married four times and has one child with his second wife. He is a vegetarian. He was mentioned in former Cuban MLB player José Canseco’s controversial book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big, as one of the players who took anabolic steroid injections. González has denied the allegation and allowed himself to be willingly drug tested.
Jorge Rafael Posada Villeta, a switch hitter and right-handed thrower, is a five-time All-Star player (2000-2003, 2007), five-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (2000-2003, 2007), and four-time consecutive World Series champion (1998-2001).
Posada as born in the district of Santurce in Puerto Rico on August 17, 1971. His father, Jorge Posada, Sr., was a Cuban who fled the country during Castro’s regime and settled in Puerto Rico. The senior Posada was a scout for the Colorado Rockies. The junior Posada was an athlete since high school, playing baseball, basketball, track, and volleyball. He received an Associate’s Degree from a community college in Alabama. He played college baseball and was inducted into the Alabama Community College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. In 1990, Posada was drafted as an infielder by the New York Yankees and played as second baseman when assigned to the Oneonta Yankees of the Class-A New York-Penn League. After that, he started playing as catcher for the Greensboro Hornets of the Class-A South Atlantic League. He was assigned to the Albany-Colony Yankees of the double-A Eastern League and the Prince William Cannons of the Class-A Carolina League in 1993, then to the Columbus Clippers of the Triple-A International League In 1994. Posada finally debuted as catcher for the Yankees on September 4, 1995. Three years later he won his first World Series title.
Posada developed as a strong-hitting catcher with the Yankees, and became a member of the “Core Four,” a quartet of the Yankees’ strongest players who contributed to the team’s four World Series title wins in 1998 to 2000 and 2009. Core Four comprised pitcher Andy Pettitte, shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada, and relief pitcher Mariano Rivera. In 2000, he was selected for his first All-Star game and won his first Silver Slugger Award and third World Series title. In 2002 and 2003, he was starting catcher for the All-Star game and won his third and fourth Silver Slugger Awards. He became the second Yankees catcher to score thirty home runs in a single season.
His career-high statistics came in 2003, when he had 101 runs, 93 walks and 30 home runs. In 2006, he led the Major League in pinch hits, recording 20. Posada also trained with former MLB catcher Tony Peña to improve his statistics in throwing out runners attempting to steal second base. He finished with 93 RBIs, 23 home runs, and a .277 batting average. In 2007, he finished with 90 RBIs, 20 home runs, a .338 batting average, plus career-highs 171 hits and 42 doubles.
Posada and Iván Rodríguez became the only two catchers to record 40 doubles in two different seasons. In September, he batted at .395, and made it to the Top 10 AL batting leaders. Joe Torre, the Yankees manager, gave Posada his managerial debut on the last day of the regular season. They won against the Baltimore Orioles. Torre traditionally bestows this honor on veteran players if the last game will not affect the standings. In 2010, Posada hit a grand slam in a game against the Houston Astros and marked his 1,000th career RBI. He is the only MLB catcher to bat at .330 or higher with 90 RBIs, 40 doubles, and 20 home runs in one season. He is the fifth MLB catcher to reach at least 1,500 hits, 1,000 RBIs, 350 doubles, and 275 home runs in a career lifetime. Posada retired from his professional baseball career in 2012.
His MLB career statistics include 1,065 RBIs, 275 home runs and a .273 batting average, amassed through his 17 seasons with the MLB, playing exclusively for the New York Yankees. He played his last game with the team on September 28, 2011.
In his private life, Posada is married and has two children. Former Yankees teammate, Derek Jeter, is his close friend. He established the Jorge Posada Foundation, which funds research for a disease called craniosynostosis. It’s a cause close to Posada because his son was born with the condition. He also co-wrote a family health manual, Fit Home Team, and an autobiography, The Beauty of Love: A Memoir of Miracles, Hope, and Healing, with his wife.
Iván Torres Rodríguez was born in Manatí, Puerto Rico on November 30, 1971. He played baseball starting at the little league, often against his rival, fellow former MLB player Juan González. His first coach was his father, who urged him to switch from playing pitcher to catcher because he threw too hard and scared rival players with his pitches. In high school, he was discovered by Luis Rosa, a scout, who remarked on Rodríguez’s strong leadership skills at age 16. In 1989, he played catcher for the Gastonia Rangers in the South Atlantic League at age 17. His off-seasons, were usually spent with the Puerto Rico Baseball League. Rodríguez is considered one of MLB’s best defensive catchers of all-time. His 45.68% caught stealing percentage is still a top record. Rodríguez retired from his professional baseball career in 2012.
In 1990, best catcher Rodríguez was selected for the All-Star team while playing in the Florida League. At the start of 1991, he played with the double-A Tulsa Drillers team. Rodríguez bypassed playing for the triple-As when was called in by the Texas Rangers and debuted as catcher on July 20, 1991. That season, he was the youngest catcher in the Major League to debut at 19.
With the Rangers, Rodríguez developed into an exceptional hitter, throwing out 48 percent of players attempting to steal base. He throws and hits with his right. He was the youngest player in Rangers history to hit a home run, and the top player who throws out base-stealing runners. During the 1992 season, he was selected for his first All-Star game and, won his first Gold Glove Award, and was still the youngest player in the league.
In the 1994 season, he led the AL catchers with a .298 batting average, caught Kenny Rogers’ perfect game, got his third all-Star selection and won his first Silver Slugger Award and third Gold Glove Award. He led the Rangers with a .303 batting average, 221 bases and 32 doubles in 1995. He was likewise his team’s Player of the Year in 1995 and played his first multi-home run game; received his fourth All-Star selection and won his second Silver Slugger Award as well as his fourth Gold Glove Award.
The following season, he broke Mickey Cochrane’s 1930 MLB record of most doubles (42) by a catcher in a single season, recording 44 doubles. He also broke Johnny Bench’s 1971 MLB record of most at-bats by a catcher (621) in a single season, with his personal best of 639 at-bats. He led the Rangers in at-bats, doubles, hits, and runs scored. He got his fifth All-Star selection and won his third Silver Slugger Award and fifth Gold Glove Award.
He continued to make records in his playing career and in 1997 and led the MLB catchers in doubles, hits, RBIs, and runs. He got his sixth All-Star selection and won his fourth Silver Slugger Award and sixth Gold Glove Award. He also became the fourth Rangers player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 1998, he marked his 1000th career hit and became the first MLB catcher to have 40 or more doubles in two or more seasons. He also got his seventh All-Star selection and won his fifth Silver Slugger Award and seventh Gold Glove Award that year.
In 1999, he set an AL record for catchers with 35 home runs in one season and became the first catcher in the league to reach 100 RBIs, 100 runs scored in, and 30 home runs in the Major League. He was also the first catcher to collect 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. For almost a month (May-June), he had a career-high 20-game hitting streak with 25 stolen bases, and led the league with 31 in times grounded into double play. In 1995 he has a personal haul of an AL MVP Award, eighth All-Star selection, sixth Silver Slugger Award and eighth Gold Glove Award.
Rodríguez was the ninth catcher in the Major League, the sixth Puerto Rican, and the fourth Ranger to win the MVP Award. The Baseball Digest also named him MVP. In 2001, he tied with former MLB catcher Johnny Bench, in the record of ten consecutive Gold Glove Awards. He finished with 136 hits, 65 RBIs, 25 home runs, and a batting average of .308—his seventh consecutive season with a batting average of over .300. He also got his tenth of 14 All-Star selections in 2001. In his final season with the Rangers in 2002, he finished with 60 RBIs, 32 doubles, and 2 triples in 108 games played. It was also his eighth season of recording a batting average of over .300.
In 2003, Rodríguez helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series title, and in turn was named the NLCS MVP. That same season, he set many Marlins record as catcher in batting average (.297), RBIs (85), and 5 walks in a single game. From June 24 to July 2, he had a nine-game hitting streak, batting at .500 with seven doubles, four home runs, and two triples. He also became the first Marlins player to record a run in eight consecutive games.
His 11th All-Star call up in 2004 marked the 10th time that he was a starting player, tying with Mike Piazza and Johnny Bench, the only catchers in MLB history to start an All-Star game ten or more times in their careers. That year he also won his seventh Silver Slugger Award and 11th Gold Glove Award. In June 2004, he batted at .500, which marked his 1,000th career RBI, and was awarded the AL Player of the Month. In 2005, he got his 12th All-Star selection and played catcher in the Major League’s Latino Legends team.
He played first and second baseman in 2006. It was his first time playing a position other than catcher in his entire career. He helped the Detroit Tigers win the 2006 ALDS and ALCS, and played for team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. He also got his 13th All-Star selection and won his 12th Gold Glove Award.
Rodríguez caught starting pitcher Justin Verlander’s no-hitter, the second caught no-hitter in Rodríguez’s career in 2007. That year he got his 14th and last call up for the All-Star games and won his 13th Gold Globe Award. He marked his 300th career home run in 2009 and broke catcher Carlton Fisk’s record for most games caught in an MLB career. He became first in MLB’s all-time record in putouts as catcher with 13,910, bumping Brad Ausmus who had 12, 671 to second place. He also played for team Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
He has three children with his first wife, who helped him establish the Ivan “Pudge” Rodríguez Foundation. In 2005, he was mentioned in former Cuban MLB player Jose Canseco’s controversial book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big. According to Canseco, he himself injected anabolic steroids into Rodríguez during their time with the Texas Rangers. Rodríguez denied Canseco’s allegations.
Rodríguez played with the Texas Rangers twice. He was also with the Florida Marlins, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros as well as the Washington Nationals in his 21-season MLB career. He played his last professional game with the Washington Nationals on September 27, 2011. His MLB career statistics include 2,844 hits, 1, 332 RBIs, 311 home runs, and a .296 batting average.
Iván Rodríguez Torres, is a fourteen-time All-Star player (1992-2001, 2004-2007), thirteen-time Gold Glove Award recipient (1992-2001, 2004, 2006, 2007), seven-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (1994-1999, 2004), 1999 AL MVP, 2003 World Series champion, and 2003 NLCS MVP.
Carlos Juan Delgado Hernández is a two-time All-Star player (2000, 2003), three-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (1999, 2000, 2003), 2000 AL Hank Award recipient, and recipient of the 2006 Roberto Clemente Award. He holds the all-time record high in home runs and RBIs among all Puerto Rican MLB players. In his 17-season professional baseball career, Delgado played for three teams, the Toronto Blue Jays from 1993 to 2004; the Florida Marlins in 2005 and the New York Mets from 2006 until 2009. He played his last MLB game on May 10, 2009 and retired afterwards. He recorded 1,512 RBIs, 473 home runs, and a .280 batting average during his entire playing career.
Delgado was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico on June 25, 1972. Growing up, he developed a sense of preserving their family’s good image because his father and grandfather were both well known in their town. He is proud of being an Aguadillano, and spends his off-season in his beloved hometown. During his senior year in high school, many MLB teams including the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, New York Mets, Montreal Expos, and Cincinnati Reds were looking to sign Delgado because they all saw his potential. Delgado chose the Jays, and debuted as catcher on October 1, 1993.
Delgado was included in the Jay’s 1993 World Series title win, despite not appearing in any game. He switched to playing first base after originally playing as catcher. He eventually became one of the Major League’s best sluggers. In 1999, he won his first Silver Slugger Award. He finished with 134 RBIs, a .272 batting average, and a career-high 44 home runs.
His first All-Star selection was in 2000 and won his second Silver Slugger Award that same year. He also bagged the AL Hank Aaron Award, and the TSN Player of the Year Award. He finished with 137 RBIs, 57 doubles, 41 home runs, and a career-high .344 batting average. In 2003, he became the only MLB player to hit four home runs with four at-bats in a single game, and the 15th MLB player to hit four home runs in a single game. He led the Major League players with 145 RBIs and finished with 42 home runs and a .302 batting average. He also got his second All-Star selection in 2003 as well as won his third Silver Slugger Award. Likewise he was named AL Player of the Week on September 30, 2003.
In 2004, he was also named AL player of the week for September 7. His twelve seasons with the Jays were his strongest and most productive. He set impressive records with the Jays including 2,786 total bases, 2,362 times on base, 1,077 runs created, 1,058 RBIs, 889 runs, 827 walks, 690 extra base hits, 343 doubles, 336 home runs, 128 intentional walks, 122 hit by pitch, 14.9 at-bats per home run, a .556 slugging percentage, and .949 OPS. He was the fourth player in the MLB to have recorded 30 home runs within ten consecutive seasons.
In 2006, he won the Roberto Clemente Award for his efforts in humanitarianism and sportsmanship. In 2007, he placed 37th on the all-time career home run list, tied with third baseman Cal Ripken, Jr. with 143. He beat Juan González’s record in 2008 for most RBIs by a Puerto Rican. He also broke Dave Kingman’s New York Mets record of 8 RBIs in a single game, with his 9 RBIs. He became the third Mets player to record 65 RBIs within 65 games in one season. He tied with Dave Kingman’s Mets record of seven multi-home run games in a season. He also marked his 2000th career hit. In 2009, he was the first player to hit a home run in the Pepsi Porch, Citi Field. For the 2009 season, he returned to the Puerto Rico Baseball League. Delgado retired from playing in the Major League in 2011. Delgado currently resides in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, with his wife and two children.
Michael Averett Lowell is a four-time All-Star player (2002-2004, 2007), three-time World Series champion (1998, 2003, 2007), 2003 Silver Slugger Award recipient, 2005 Gold Glove Award winner, and 2007 World Series MVP.
Lowell was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 24, 1974. He has Irish and Spanish ancestry through his parents, who were both born in Cuba. When he was four, his family relocated to Miami, Florida. He was a star player at his high school’s varsity baseball team and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. He was awarded an athletic scholarship by the Florida International University, where he became a three-time All Conference player. He played for the Chatham A’s in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1994. In 1995, he was drafted by the New York Yankees. Lowell debuted as third baseman for the Yankees on September 13, 1998.
Lowell was included in the Yankees’ 1998 World Series win despite a late debut. In 1999, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and missed a few months of the season as he underwent treatment. He recovered soon and went back to the Major League. He was given the Tony Conigliaro Award that same season. In 2002, he was selected for his first All-Star game. In 2003, he got his second All-Star game selection, and won his first Silver Slugger Award and his second World Series title, this time with the Florida Marlins. With the Marlins, he developed into one of the strongest third basemen in the Major League. In 2004, he got his third All-Star selection. He also marked his career-highs, recording 85 RBIs, 27 home runs, and a .293 batting average. In 2005, he won his first Gold Glove Award. In 2006, he was given the Jackie Jensen Award and named TYIB Defensive Player of the Year.
Lowell’s best season was in 2007. That year he was named the 2007 World Series MVP, the second Puerto Rican recipient of the award after Roberto Clemente. He finished the Series with 6 runs scored, 4 RBIs, 1 home run and stolen base, and a .400 batting average. He also got his fourth All-Star selection and third World Series title with the Boston Red Sox. He also recorded career highs by achieving a .324 batting average, 191 hits, 21 home runs, OPS and 120 RBIs. He holds the all-time Red Sox record for most RBIs by a third baseman. He had reduced playing time during his last few seasons due to various injuries. Lowell finally retired from his professional baseball career in 2010.
His MLB career spanned 13 seasons, where he played for the New York Yankees, Florida Marlins and Boston Red Sox. He ended his professional career with his last game with the Boston Red Sox on October 2, 2010. His MLB career statistics include 952 RBIs, 223 home runs, and a .279 batting average. He is currently working as an analyst for the MLB Network and appears on “MLB Tonight.” He is married and has two children. Lowell and his family currently live in Pinecrest, Florida.
Benjamin José Molina is a 2002 World Series champion, two-time consecutive Gold Glove Award recipient (2002, 2003), two-time NL leader in sacrifice flies, and two-time AL leader in caught stealing against percentage. Bengie Molina was known for being a free-swinging power-hitter and skilled contact hitter. He used his right arm for hitting and throwing the ball.
Bengie Molina was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico on July 20, 1974. His younger brothers are MLB catchers José and Yadi Molina. He graduated from his high school with honors and played as shortstop for Arizona Western College. He debuted as catcher for the Anaheim Angels on September 21, 1998. In 2000, he became the regular catcher for the Angels and led the AL in average at-bats between strikeouts with 14.3. In 2002, he won his only World Series title and his first Gold Glove Award. During his last few seasons with the team, his younger brother José was his backup catcher. In 2007 and 2008, he was given the Willie Mac Award for spirit and leadership. In 2008 and 2009, he led the MLB with 11 sacrifice flies. In 2010, he hit for the cycle, the first MLB player to do so while hitting a grand slam in the same game.
Bengie Molina played with the Anaheim Angels/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers during his 13-season professional career in the MLB. In his entire career he recorded the following statistics – 711 RBIs, 144 home runs, and a .274 batting average. He retired in 2010, playing his last game with the Texas Rangers.
Carlos Iván Beltrán is a seven-time MLB All-Star player (2004-2007, 2009, 2011, 2012), three-time consecutive Gold Glove Award recipient (2006-2008), two-time consecutive Silver Slugger Award recipient (2006, 2007), two-time Fielding Bible Award recipient (2006, 2008), 1999 AL Rookie of the Year, AL Player of the Month (April 2004), and a member of the 300-300 Club.
In his MLB career so far, Beltrán has played with the Kansas City Royals where he started his MLB career in 1998. He played with the Houston Astros, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants. As of 2012, he is playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. His current MLB career statistics include 2,014 hits, 1,217 RBIs, 403 doubles, 323 home runs, 302 stolen bases, and a .284 batting average.
Beltrán was born in Manatí, Puerto Rico on April 24, 1977. As a child, Beltrán excelled in sports, especially baseball and volleyball. When he was 17, his father advised him to focus on baseball. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1995 and was assigned to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a rookie-level team in the Carolina League. Beltrán debuted as outfielder for the Royals on September 14, 1998.
Beltrán won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1999, finishing with 108 RBIs, 27 stolen bases, 22 home runs, and a batting average of .293. For a time, he slumped from his strong rookie performance and played sluggishly. He recovered in 2004, where he was awarded the AL Player of the Month in April and got his first All-Star selection. During the MLB playoffs, he set a record of hitting a home run for five consecutive postseason games. He played for team Puerto Rico in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. That same season, he got his third All-Star selection, hit grand slams in consecutive games, and was the only NL batter with multiple hits and two stolen bases.
He became the third Mets player to hit three grand slams in a single season. He also won his first Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and Fielding Bible Awards in 2006. His defensive skills were highlighted, making him the top fielding center fielder, finishing the season with 13 outfield assists, 6 double plays, and a .995 fielding percentage with only 2 errors in 372 chances. In 2008, he marked his 1,000th career run and won his second Fielding Bible Award and third Gold Glove Award. In 2009, he got his fifth All-Star selection and marked his 1,000th career RBI. He got his sixth All-Star selection, marked his 300th career home run, and became the eighth Mets player to hit three two-run home runs in a single game in 2011. During the 2012 opening day, Beltrán had the first hit in a regular season game held at the new Marlins Park. He marked his sixth NL and ninth MLB Player of the Week Award on May 7 to 13 in 2012. In the same season, he got his seventh All-Star selection, marked his 2,000th career hit and 400th career double, and became a member of the 300-300 club, making him the first switch hitter and eighth player to reach 300 home runs and stolen bases.
Beltrán established a foundation funded by a portion of his salary. His foundation has put up a US$6 million high school focusing on young athletes, the Carlos Beltrán Baseball Academy located in Florida in Puerto Rico. Part of the school’s curriculum is baseball instructions for would-be Major League Baseball players. He currently divides his time between the US and Manatí, Puerto Rico.
Yadier “Yadi” Benjamin Molina is a four-time consecutive All-Star player (2009-2012), four-time consecutive Gold Glove Award recipient (2008-2011), four-time consecutive Fielding Bible Award recipient (2007-2010), three-time NL champion (2004, 2006, 2011), two-time World Series champion (2006, 2011), and recipient of the 2011 NL Platinum Glove Award.
Yadi Molina was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on July 13, 1982. Bengie and José, his two older brothers, are also skilled MLB catchers. They are the only trio of brothers to have won at least one World Series title. Yadi Molina debuted as catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals on June 1, 2004. That same season, he won his first NL championship title.
In 2005, Yadi Molina played for team Puerto Rico in the first ever World Baseball Classic. He won his second NL championship title in 2006 and helped the Cardinals win the World Series title. In 2007, he marked his first two-homer game and won his first Fielding Bible Award. Pitching coach Dave Duncan and manager Tony La Russa stated that Yadi Molina is responsible for calling over 75% of the total pitches in a single game. In 2008, he won his first Gold Glove Award and second Fielding Bible Award, and was the NL starting catcher for the 2009 MLB All-Star Game. He won his second Gold Glove Award and third Fielding Bible Award, and got his first All-Star selection that same season. During the opening day in 2010, he became the third Cardinals player to hit a grand slam. That same season, he got his second All-Star selection, won his third Gold Glove Award, and caught all 20 innings in a game against the Mets. He also won his fourth Fielding Bible Award, making him the first player to have won the award with a perfect score of 100. In 2011, he won his second World Series title, an NL Platinum Glove Award, an NL championship title, and his fourth Gold Glove Award. He was also selected for his third All-Star game.
Yadi Molina is considered one of the best defensive catchers in the Major League, leading the league catchers with 36 pickoffs from 2005-2010, and throwing out 42% of runners attempting to steal a base from 2005-2010. He’s the third catcher to play in two World Series before turning 25. He uses his right arm for hitting and throwing the ball. Yadi Molina is married and has two children.
In his MLB career so far, Yadi Molina has only played with one team, the St. Louis Cardinals. He is still currently with the Cardinals. His current MLB career statistics include 946 hits, 435 RBIs, 169 doubles, 68 home runs, OPS of .720, and a .276 batting average.