Puerto Rico's Winter League

Puerto Rico's Winter League

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Since its inception in 1938, the Liga de Beisbol Professional de Puerto Rico has launched the careers of numerous island players, including Ruben Gomez, Jerry Morales, Orlando Cepeda, Vic Power, Ruben Sierra and the greatest of all Puerto Rican stars, Roberto Clemente. For many qimports, q the league has been a stepping stone to major league stardom. In its early years, many of the league's stars came from the Negro Leagues: Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Monte Irvin and Roy Campanella were just a few of the African American stars who graced the Puerto Rican diamonds in the 1940s and early 1950s. The Santurce outfield of 1954 featured one of the finest outfields in baseball history: Clemente, Willie Mays, and Puerto Rican star Bob Thurman. Through the mid-1980s, many major league teams sent their up-and-coming stars to Puerto Rico for a final bit of seasoning--Cal Ripken, Jr., Tony Gwynn, Johnny Bench, Rickey Henderson, Phil Niekro, Hank Aaron and Robin Yount were among them. They played for such future league big league managers as Frank Robinson, Jim Fregosi and Kevin Kennedy, while the balls and strikes were called by Nestor Chylak, Doug Harvey, Dale Ford and many other future major league umpires.Jimmie Crutchfield, a former Pittsburgh Crawford who also played for the Birmingham Black Barons and other Negro leagues teams, was one of San Juana#39;s first ... Forty years had gone by, but many Island fans remembered him as a pioneer.


Title:Puerto Rico's Winter League
Author: Thomas E. Van Hyning
Publisher:McFarland - 2004-01-01
ISBN-13:

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