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