From SABR member Adrian Burgos Jr. at La Vida Baseball on August 27, 2018:
Long before Shohei Ohtani made his debut in Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Angels, there was Martin Dihigo in the Negro Leagues. Dihigo might well be the greatest two-way player that most baseball fans have not heard of because he played during baseball’s segregated era.
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, Dihigo was the first Latino enshrined as a Negro Leaguer. The Cuba native came to the United States in 1923. His hitting prowess, strong build, and powerful arm impressed Cuban Stars owner Alex Pompez, who decided to bring the 18-year old north to play in the Eastern Colored League.
Over the next three decades, Dihigo demonstrated great versatility while performing in the Negro Leagues and throughout Latin America.
That combination of stellar performance and versatility resulted in Dihigo being elected by a special committee on the Negro Leagues to enter the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Dihigo was also enshrined in the baseball halls of fame in Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
A statue of Dihigo also stands in the Field of Legends at the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
Illuminating stories like that of Dihigo and of Latinos in the Negro Leagues is a central purpose why the NLBM created the Negro League Béisbol exhibit.
Read the full article here: https://www.lavidabaseball.com/el-profe-negro-league-exhibit/
Originally published: August 27, 2018. Last Updated: August 27, 2018.