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Thursday, September 15, 2022

Donning Clemente’s No. 21, Rays field MLB’s first all-Latino lineup

The number 21 was seemingly everywhere you looked on the field at Rogers Centre on Thursday afternoon. Specifically, it was everywhere up and down the Rays’ starting lineup.

Half of Tampa Bay’s roster, including all nine hitters who started the series finale against the Blue Jays, donned the number that famously belonged to Roberto Clemente. It was a fitting day for a historic moment.

According to the Rays, it was the first time in Major League history that a team’s lineup was made up entirely of Latino hitters. Their starting lineup included players from Cuba (Yandy Díaz and Randy Arozarena), the Dominican Republic (Wander Franco, Manuel Margot and Jose Siri), Colombia (Harold Ramírez), Venezuela (David Peralta and René Pinto) and Mexico (Isaac Paredes). The Elias Sports Bureau confirmed it was the first time all nine hitters in a starting lineup were born in a Latin American country.

And they were all wearing No. 21 to celebrate Clemente as part of MLB’s annual Roberto Clemente Day, which honors the life and legacy of the Hall of Fame player and humanitarian who recorded 3,000 hits on the field and tragically died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while attempting to deliver emergency relief supplies to Nicaragua.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 05:36 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, roberto clemente

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   1. JRVJ Posted: September 15, 2022 at 06:13 PM (#6096332)
Sad that there were no Panamanians in that Rays line-up (though 2 Panamanians were part of the first black line-up in history, when Manny Sanguillen and Rennie Stennett were part of a Pirates line-up that achieves this in 1971, IIRC)
   2. BDC Posted: September 15, 2022 at 06:56 PM (#6096343)
But Javy Guerra eventually pitched in the game, so there was a Panamanian representative. And that meant for the one inning that Guerra was in the game, all ten Rays were Latino – I imagine they hoped it would work out that way.

Plus they won 11-0, so I'd say, stick with that lineup :)
   3. JRVJ Posted: September 15, 2022 at 07:08 PM (#6096346)
2, I did not notice Javy Guerra pitched in that game.

That works for me.
   4. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:07 AM (#6096405)
This "all-Latino lineup" is only accurate if we apply the term to ballplayers born outside the United States, including Puerto Rico. (Thank you, Rule IV.)

For example, check the lineup the Nats put out against the Amazins in DC a few hours after the club dealt away Soto and Bell.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:23 AM (#6096409)

Good point, Jason. I would have been surprised if this was truly the first all-Latino lineup. I'm sure there have been other times before that Nats game, as well.
   6. Itchy Row Posted: September 16, 2022 at 11:04 AM (#6096416)
The regular lineup for the the 2020 White Sox included four Cubans and three Dominicans. Maybe it was COVID's fault there wasn't a game where those seven started with, say Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez at 2B and SS. If it had been a Reynaldo Lopez start, that would have made all ten starters Latino.
   7. . . . . . . Posted: September 16, 2022 at 11:12 AM (#6096421)
For example, check the lineup the Nats put out against the Amazins in DC a few hours after the club dealt away Soto and Bell.


Does Josh Palacios count? Second gen new yorker and I think only half Puerto Rican. Sort of on the dividing line of latino and black.
   8. The Duke Posted: September 16, 2022 at 11:16 AM (#6096422)
It's amazing to me that black participation in baseball has cratered so badly now. I don't know what the %s are now but iI think it crested in the low 20% in the 1960s and is under 10% now. Does anyone track that on the web?
   9. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 01:35 PM (#6096448)

It's amazing to me that black participation in baseball has cratered so badly now. I don't know what the %s are now but iI think it crested in the low 20% in the 1960s and is under 10% now. Does anyone track that on the web?

Yes, although worth noting that we went from minimal foreign-born players to probably 40% foreign-born over the same time period. African-American players as a % of American players has definitely declined, but not to the same extent as those numbers above imply.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 16, 2022 at 01:38 PM (#6096450)
I read an article about this on The Athletic yesterday. The comments were...not encouraging.
   11. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: September 17, 2022 at 02:53 PM (#6096631)
I'm still LOL-ing over all of the coverage of this supposed feat taking place on Roberto Clemente Day when Clemente himself wouldn't have qualified for inclusion under the "first time all nine hitters in an MLB lineup were born in a Latin American country" criterion.
   12. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:00 AM (#6096867)
I'm still LOL-ing over all of the coverage of this supposed feat taking place on Roberto Clemente Day when Clemente himself wouldn't have qualified for inclusion under the "first time all nine hitters in an MLB lineup were born in a Latin American country" criterion.

If Puerto Rico doesn't count and previous lineups haven't been qualified only because of one or more players from PR, that does seem overtly silly.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2022 at 12:03 PM (#6096878)
I'm still LOL-ing over all of the coverage of this supposed feat taking place on Roberto Clemente Day when Clemente himself wouldn't have qualified for inclusion under the "first time all nine hitters in an MLB lineup were born in a Latin American country" criterion.

Is that really what it says, though? The only part about the players all being from "Latin American countries" was more like a supplementary point rather than the main one. The headline just says "first all-Latino lineup", and this paragraph makes its point clear:
It was a fitting occasion for a historic moment, the first all-Latino starting lineup in Major League history on the day MLB celebrates the first Latin American player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nothing in there about the player's country of origin, and obviously Clemente was a Latin American.

Clemente was also part of the first all-Black lineup in MLB, and I don't recall anyone saying he didn't count because he wasn't African American.
   14. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: September 19, 2022 at 01:39 PM (#6096884)
Nothing in there about the player's country of origin, and obviously Clemente was a Latin American.
The second paragraph of the article, which makes clear the "all-Latino" criterion, says:

And it didn’t hit catcher René Pinto until after the last out was recorded, when he was asked to pose for a picture on the field at Rogers Centre alongside the other eight position players who started for Tampa Bay, all of them hailing from Latin American countries and all of them wearing gray No. 21 jerseys on Roberto Clemente Day.

Puerto Rico is most certainly not a Latin American "country."

And again, the Nats lineup from the 2nd of August provides an example of an all-Latino lineup. (Yes, Palacios may be a second-generation American but that doesn't disqualify someone whose grandparents were born in PR from considering themselves "Latino.")
   15. . . . . . . Posted: September 19, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6096887)
(Yes, Palacios may be a second-generation American but that doesn't disqualify someone whose grandparents were born in PR from considering themselves "Latino.")


Do you know if Palacios considers himself Latino?
   16. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: September 19, 2022 at 01:59 PM (#6096888)
Do you know if Palacios considers himself Latino?
I don't see a quote where he remarks, "I'm Josh Palacios and consider myself Latino," but...

Fangraphs:

Laurila: I understand that Roberto Clemente is one of your heroes.

Palacios: “He is. I appreciate the history of what he did, especially with him being the first Puerto Rican star and all the things he had to deal with going through that. How he handled himself, how he handled his career. The dude played through a mass amount of injuries, and he played every day, giving everything he had, every single time. Even when he was snubbed as MVP, he didn’t cry and whine about it, he came back and put up even better numbers. That speaks volumes. And then there’s his humanitarianism, how he went about helping people outside of baseball. That makes him a role model.”


And see here:

Proud to celebrate our boys on Hispanic Heritage Day. ❤️

#NATITUDE
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2022 at 04:40 PM (#6096920)
Nothing in there about the player's country of origin, and obviously Clemente was a Latin American.

The second paragraph of the article, which makes clear the "all-Latino" criterion, says:

And it didn’t hit catcher René Pinto until after the last out was recorded, when he was asked to pose for a picture on the field at Rogers Centre alongside the other eight position players who started for Tampa Bay, all of them hailing from Latin American countries and all of them wearing gray No. 21 jerseys on Roberto Clemente Day.

Puerto Rico is most certainly not a Latin American "country."


Oh, come on. Your entire argument rests on the technical definition of a "country". Puerto Rico may be a U.S. territory, but ethnically, linguistically and culturally it's always been considered part of Latin America. Not to mention that it would make no sense whatever to make a note of Roberto Clemente Day if Clemente himself weren't considered a Latin American. He certainly considered himself to be one.

Now if your real point is that the Nats beat the Rays to it in fielding an all-Latino / Hispanic lineup, I won't argue with that. In fact I'm slightly surprised that there hadn't been an all-Latino lineup before either of them.
   18. JJ1986 Posted: September 19, 2022 at 05:20 PM (#6096925)
The desire to diminish this achievement does not come from a good place.
   19. . Posted: September 19, 2022 at 05:51 PM (#6096928)
Since several Latinos, including Clemente himself, were part of the first "all-Black" lineup put out by the Pirates on September 1, 1971, things are getting more than a little ... odd ... here.(*) I'd be inclined to simply observe that players like Roberto tend to serve whatever racial whim that happens to hit the people that tend to get hit by racial whims, but the onset of full-on wokedom circa 2015 makes things a little more complicated. For obvious reasons, I tend to go with pre-woke perspectives (**) on these things and I think I'll stick with that here.

(*) For, among other reasons, the fact that under the Pirates' precedent, the Rays lineup under celebration was both "all Latino" and "all Black." Hmmmm. Chin stroke. Lisa has hit this incongruity quite logically and effectively over the years and I'd simply refer everyone back to her work. I'll note here the article on the Pirates on the SABR website: On September 1, 1971, the Pirates fielded an all-Black lineup of African-American and Latino players." Hmmmm again. I mean, I know where the idea was going -- on September 1, 1971, the Pirates trotted out a lineup without a white guy in it and certainly that was a milestone worth noting -- but the nose-counting nomenclatural to-and-fros by usual suspect types can still induce more than a little vertigo.

(**) Speaking of "good places."
   20. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: September 19, 2022 at 07:35 PM (#6096946)
Now if your real point is that the Nats beat the Rays to it in fielding an all-Latino / Hispanic lineup, I won't argue with that. In fact I'm slightly surprised that there hadn't been an all-Latino lineup before either of them.
Of course that's my point. But words do matter. When MLB celebrates a lineup because the players are "hailing from Latin American countries," it's said for a reason. My guess is someone in the marketing department at MLB HQ wanted to further hype the historic celebration and therefore was willing to overlook the Nats lineup on the 2nd of August -- and perhaps others.

It's not an outrage, of course, just pretty weird.
   21. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: September 19, 2022 at 07:51 PM (#6096948)
Now if your real point is that the Nats beat the Rays to it in fielding an all-Latino / Hispanic lineup, I won't argue with that. In fact I'm slightly surprised that there hadn't been an all-Latino lineup before either of them.


The difference between the August 2nd Mets-Nationals game and the Rays-Jays game is every Rays starter was born outside of the US, whereas the Nationals had two starters born in NYC boroughs. That's the distinction, as it refers to the players in the article as "all of them hailing from Latin American countries."
   22. GregD Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:27 PM (#6096959)
It is so confusing. Practically "Latino" in the US is used to describe people of Latin descent wherever they were born. If the goal is to capture people born outside of the US, that's an interesting observation but we need a different word. (In fact, at my workplace Latino is defined SOLELY as people who are permanent US residents of Latin descent, which is silly in its own terms but comes out of path dependence not strong logic; all people who aren't permanent residents are classed as outside of the racial/ethnic categories and in their own group.)

I would be curious about the first all-Latino lineup under the widely used definition. I wouldn't be surprised if it was several years ago.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:00 PM (#6096972)
these talks always remind of Keith Hernandez's once-a-year-or-so gripe from the TV booth how almost every day, some fan comes up to him speaking in Spanish and expecting a similar reply.

he was known as "Mex" as a player, but his family originally is from Spain and he grew up in northern California. he doesn't know any more Spanish than most of us here do, lol.

Keith doesn't seem mad at anybody. but I can sort of imagine how it might get a little bit old, after the first 1,000 times you apologize and explain that you don't speak Spanish.

:)
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:05 PM (#6097015)
Of course that's my point. But words do matter. When MLB celebrates a lineup because the players are "hailing from Latin American countries," it's said for a reason.

I guess I'm just seeing that as a subsidiary point to the main one about an all-Latino lineup. YMMV and all that. Personally I think your point about the Nats being the first all-Latino lineup is much more important than the countries these players come from.

And I'm also glad that that all-Latino lineup won by 11-0 rather than losing by the same score. The latter result might've been what used to be called socially embarrassing. (smile) Same for that Nats lineup against the Mets, and for that matter the first all-Black lineup from 1971, where the Pirates beat the Phillies.
   25. sanny manguillen Posted: September 20, 2022 at 12:37 PM (#6097051)
The dude played through a mass amount of injuries, and he played every day, giving everything he had, every single time


Clemente missed about 2 1/2 seasons worth of games spread over 18 years. By the end of his career, it was generally accepted that he could be tracked down in the trainer's room. When others took ill, Clemente could be relied on for home remedies. A lesser player probably would have been nicknamed "Grandma."
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2022 at 01:35 PM (#6097059)
these talks always remind of Keith Hernandez's once-a-year-or-so gripe from the TV booth how almost every day, some fan comes up to him speaking in Spanish and expecting a similar reply.

he was known as "Mex" as a player, but his family originally is from Spain and he grew up in northern California. he doesn't know any more Spanish than most of us here do, lol.

Keith doesn't seem mad at anybody. but I can sort of imagine how it might get a little bit old, after the first 1,000 times you apologize and explain that you don't speak Spanish.


I like the subtle fact Keith never considered learning some Spanish, which might have helped given his 40 years working around major league baseball teams in one capacity or another.
   27. Ron J Posted: September 20, 2022 at 01:45 PM (#6097060)
#25 I do recall that there were whispers about that. That his rep was that he didn't like to play if anything felt off. He did in fact play most of the time, but I can confirm that he was known to spend a lot of time in the trainer's room and that not everybody saw this in a positive light.

Mind you, his relationship with the press wasn't always smooth. He objected to being called "Bobby" and some members of the press didn't like that. Here I'm 100% in Clemente's corner. Even if this kind of thing was pretty normal in the sporting world. In the same general time frame, you had Bob Baun make the same objection. This actually helped undermine some of the pushback to Clemente's objections.
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6097062)
I think that's a bit unfair.

Keith is one of many broadcasters who doesn't fraternize with players; he doesn't "do clubhouses" - the better to be more objective (when Showalter first heard that Mets players constantly complained about being criticized on SNY, he solved that problem quickly. the TV feed in the clubhouse no longer has any sound).

and I doubt very many of his English-speaking teammates when he played learned much Spanish, either. so he's typical.

finally, a Spanish-speaking fan who gets the thrill of meeting Keith Hernandez is not likely to speak very slowly - given the assumption that he is fluent.
   29. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: September 20, 2022 at 01:49 PM (#6097063)
I like the subtle fact Keith never considered learning some Spanish, which might have helped given his 40 years working around major league baseball teams in one capacity or another.
Which might have helped him with what exactly?

EDIT: As Howie points out, Keith doesn't chug beer with the players.
   30. sanny manguillen Posted: September 20, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6097113)
He objected to being called "Bobby" and some members of the press didn't like that. Here I'm 100% in Clemente's corner.


It was said that Clemente didn't mind Bob Prince calling him "Bobby", but you had to keep in mind that Prince also called him "The Great One."

What I posted at 25 wasn't meant to be critical of Clemente. He was the great hero of my youth, and it bothers me somewhat to see him turning into a statue while the real guy had many interesting sides to him.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: September 20, 2022 at 04:48 PM (#6097118)
I think that's a bit unfair.

Keith is one of many broadcasters who doesn't fraternize with players; he doesn't "do clubhouses" - the better to be more objective (when Showalter first heard that Mets players constantly complained about being criticized on SNY, he solved that problem quickly. the TV feed in the clubhouse no longer has any sound).


Do you have the same view about reporters like, you know, you?

He doesn't have to fraternize with them to benefit from communicating with them.

Obviously, most players/broadcasters don't learn to speak Spanish, so Keith is hardly unusual. But it's not like it wouldn't be useful for anyone in MLB, and I find it amusing that a guy who is regularly spoken to in Spanish doesn't seem to have considered the option.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2022 at 05:09 PM (#6097123)
Keith deliberately has no communication with active players (Walt Frazier is the same way re the Knicks) for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with his not being bilingual.

On the other hand, I remember realizing at least 30 years ago that if I was hiring an MLB writer, I would have being bilingual as a very significant factor.

moreso, fwiw, than hiring an African-American writer to cover an NBA or NFL team. there isn't a language barrier, and I witnessed a number of players who were quite put off by a vibe by some young black writers that the players automatically owed them sort of preferential treatment.

but MLB has the most "down time" before games with reporters in the clubhouse/locker room, and Latin players who struggle with speaking English would be more likely to become friendly with a reporter who can converse with them in Spanish.

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