Latinos have helped shape America’s favorite pastime
Baseball is one of America’s oldest and most-beloved sports. The major leagues are known for recruiting a diverse group of players and people of Latin American descent have contributed immense talent and creativity to the pastime.
Luis Castro, who played for the Philadelphia Athletics in the early 1900s, is credited as the first player of Colombian heritage, and one of the first Latinos, to play professionally, according to The Baseball Almanac.
Castro was only 24 years old when he first began to play for the major leagues in April of 1902. He hails from Medellin, Colombia. Though his career was rather short, Castro opened the way for some of today’s greatest players who also have their roots in Latin America.
One of those players is Bobby Abreu, who currently plays for the Los Angeles Angels. Born in Venezuela, Abreu is among the most prominent players in the sport and was ranked third in the National League in the 1998 season, according to BaseballLibrary.com.
Both Castro and Abreu are an inspiration to Latinos across the nation who have come to the U.S. in order to find work and send international money transfers to assist their loved ones who living abroad.
This year’s Most Valuable Player, Edgar Enrique Renteria, of the San Francisco Giants, also showed that he cares for the people of his home country, Columbia. The athlete, who made the winning hit in the final game of the World Series, recently called off his home-coming party because he preferred that the money be used to assist victims of a recent flood in his native country, according to the Seattle Times.
Renteria wasn’t the only Hispanic player on this year’s champion team. Others include Pablo Sandoval, of Venezuela, and Santiago Casilla, of the Dominican Republic, according to the Major League Baseball website.