August 2 – Happy Birthday Angel Aragon

Today, one out of every four Major League ballplayers is Latino. At the beginning of the twentieth century you could count the number of Latinos wearing Major League uniforms on the fingers of one hand and one of those fingers would briefly have represented this Yankee utility player, who was born in Cuba and is generally considered to be the first Latino player ever to wear the uniform of the New York Yankees. Just 5’5″ tall, Aragon got his first shot with the Yankees in 1914. He barely spoke or understood a word of English, making it especially difficult for Frank Chance, the Yankee manager at the time to communicate with him and Aragon was sent back down to the minors. He worked hard to learn English and reappeared briefly on the Yankee teams of both 1916 and 1917. He then spent the next eight seasons in the minors and never again appeared in a big league ball game.

Here are my personal selections for the all-time all- Latino Yankee team:

C Jorge Posada
1B Tino Martinez
2B Robinson Cano
SS Alvaro Espinosa
3B Alex Rodriguez
OF Bernie Williams
OF Bobby Abreu
OF Melky Cabrera
DH Hector Lopez
SP Lefty Gomez
RP Mariano Rivera

Aragon shares his birthday with the Yankee pitcher who helped start Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1914 NYY 6 10 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .143 .333 .143 .476
1916 NYY 12 27 24 1 5 0 0 0 3 2 2 2 .208 .269 .208 .478
1917 NYY 14 50 45 2 3 1 0 0 2 0 2 2 .067 .106 .089 .195
3 Yrs 32 87 76 4 9 1 0 0 5 2 5 6 .118 .183 .132 .315
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/1/2013.

2 Comments

thats my grandfather

Outstanding, Keith. You must be very proud of him for his trail-blazing accomplishments.

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