Wendel: The 1963 Latino All-Star Game

From SABR member Tim Wendel at The National Pastime Museum on October 12, 2015:

Latinos make up nearly 30 percent of current Major League rosters, and some consider this to be a relatively recent phenomenon. But as early as October 1963, there were enough players in the bigs from the Caribbean and other Spanish-speaking countries to put on their own All-Star Game. And wouldn’t you know it? An unheralded pitcher almost stole the show.

The scene was the old Polo Grounds in New York, and the lineups for the National and American League All-Star squads featured many well-known stars. Future Hall of Famer Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants started the game for the National League, going against Pedro Ramos of the Cleveland Indians. The National League stars included Orlando Cepeda, a trio of New York Mets (Ed Bauta, Chico Fernandez, and Joe Christopher) and Roberto Clemente. The American League team had Zoilo Versalles, Roman Mejias, Vic Davalillo, Luis Aparicio, and Vic Power.

Before the first pitch, four members—Adolfo Luque, Hiram Bithorn, Pancho Coimbre, and Perucho Cepeda—were inducted into the Latin-American Hall of Fame. Cepeda was represented by his son, Orlando. Puerto Rican star Coimbre attended the ceremony, while Bithorn and Luque were honored posthumously.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/1963-latino-all-star-game

Originally published: October 12, 2015. Last Updated: October 12, 2015.