Burgos: The forgotten story of a Latino All-Star Game at the Polo Grounds in 1963

From SABR member Adrian Burgos Jr. at La Vida Baseball on July 10, 2017:


Imagine an All-Star Game in which Juan Marichal is pitching, Orlando Cepeda is batting cleanup and Roberto Clemente is managing while hitting sixth in a loaded National League lineup.

Imagine an All-Star Game in which Luis Aparicio bats leadoff and plays shortstop for the American League, and is followed at the plate by Latino baseball royalty such as Minnie Miñoso, Tony Oliva, Víctor Pellot and Zoilo Versalles.

As Major League Baseball prepares to celebrate its 88th All-Star Game in Miami on Tuesday, we remember one that took place 54 years ago in New York City after the end of the season and outside the official auspices of MLB, but with as much salsa y sabor as you will find in Marlins Park this week.

Portending the future, this historic exhibition wasn’t a figment of anyone’s imagination. The showcase of Latino talent paid homage to past legends, had its own home run derby years before MLB made it an event, and featured future Hall of Famers as well as up-and-coming talent.

The Latino all-star game took place on Oct. 12, 1963, at the fourth and final incarnation of the Polo Grounds, the enormous stadium located in Coogan’s Bluff in Upper Manhattan that is considered hallowed ground.

Read the full article here: https://www.lavidabaseball.com/latino-all-star-game-polo-grounds/

Originally published: July 10, 2017. Last Updated: July 10, 2017.