Early Latino Ballplayers in the United States

Major, Minor and Negro Leagues, 1901–1949


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About the Book

From 1900 through the 1940s Latino baseball players suffered discrimination, poor accommodations, low pay and homesickness to play a game they loved. Those who were both talented and light-skinned enough to make it to the majors were mocked for being foreign. Those in the Negro Leagues were, like African American ballplayers, segregated and largely ignored by the public and major league scouts. Building on the work of researchers who focused on the seasons and careers of these pioneer athletes, Nick Wilson draws on primary documents and interviews to round out our knowledge of the players as people. José Méndez, Miguel González, Luis Tiant, Sr., Martín Dihigo, Rodolfo Fernández, Roberto Ortiz, Cristóbal Torriente, Hiram Bithorn and Pedro “Preston” Gómez are only a few examples of the players included here. Appendices on “Americans Who Positively Influenced Latin Migration” and “Latinos and the Washington Senators Spring Training Camps, 1939–1942” are included, along with 26 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index.

About the Author(s)

SABR member Nick C. Wilson conducts baseball interviews for the weekly newspaper La Voz Nueva de Colorado. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Bibliographic Details

Nick C. Wilson

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: 26 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [2005]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7506-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0318-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Introduction      1

1. The 1900s (Julián Castillo and Luis Bustamante, José Méndez, Luís Castro, Armando Cabañas, Eustaquio Pedroso, Luis Padrón, Alfredo Cabrera)      3
2. Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida      23
3. The 1910s (Cristóbal Torriente, Emilio Palmero, Jacinto Calvo, Balmadero Acosta, Manuel Cueto, José Acosta, José Rodríguez, Angel Aragón, Oscar Tuero, Eusebio González)      42
4. Adolfo Luque      67
5. The 1920s (Martín Dihigo, Miguel González, Aberlardo Rodríguez, Alex Pompez, Emilio Navarro, Augustín Daviú, Mero Urena and Juan Vargas)      99
6. The 1930s (Luis Tiant Sr., Mel Almada, Rodolfo Fernández, Roberto Estalella, Santos Amaro, Roberto Ortiz)      125
7. The 1940s (Hiram Bithorn, Felix Delgado, Alex and Chico Carrasquel, Salvador Hernández, Silvio García, Tomas de la Cruz, Pedro Preston Gómez)      144

Conclusion      167
Appendix A: Americans Who Influenced the Latin Migration      169
Appendix B: Washington Senators’ Spring Training      180
Chapter Notes      183
Bibliography      189
Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “excellent…solid…highly recommended”—Library Journal
  • “solid…strong contribution”—SABR Deadball Committee Newsletter
  • “terrific…excellent, engaging, and highly informative”—Hellobaseball.com
  • “insightful source…adds a great deal to the historiography of the Latino baseball story”—The SABR Latin American Committee’s La Prensa del Béisbol Latino
  • “important and compelling historical work”—Journal Star; (Peoria, Illinois)