Soderholm-Difatte: Aparicio’s first of 506 stolen bases

From SABR member Bryan Soderholm-Difatte at Baseball Historical Insight on May 5, 2016:

On May 5, 1956, Luis Aparicio stole the first base of his major league career. The highly-touted 22-year-old rookie shortstop did so as a pinch runner, however, because he had been temporarily benched by Chicago White Sox manager Marty Marion to get his head straight after struggling at the plate in his first eight major league games. As we all know, Luis Aparicio went on to become a Hall of Fame shortstop perhaps most renown for … the art of the steal.

Following literally in the footsteps of Chico Carrasquel, the White Sox shortstop from 1950 to 1955, Luis Aparicio was the second in a line of athletic, nimble, great-glove, dynamic arm, dazzling defensive shortstops from Venezuela. Both were in the first wave of players from the Caribbean Basin. That wave was a consequence of integration that gained momentum with the success of the White Sox’ Minnie Minoso, a black Hispanic from Cuba, who was one of the game’s the best players in the first half of the 1950s. And it was not just black Hispanic ballplayers who benefited from this unprecedented major league attention, but white Hispanics as well.

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Originally published: May 5, 2016. Last Updated: May 5, 2016.