That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Jackie Robinson Legacy is International

Jackie Robinson who broke the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers takes a swing at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn (jackierobinson.com file photo)

Jackie Robinson Legacy is International

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

April 15,2020 marks the 73rd Anniversary of Jackie Robinson as the first African-American player in MLB,with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. His legacy and career was honored and his uniform number 42 retired by Major League Baseball by Commissioner Bud Selig 33 years ago on April 15,1997.

Robinson’s #42 was the first and only number retired by all MLB 30 teams. Generally people focus on African Americans who followed Robinson into baseball,but the great pioneer also opened the door for Black Latino players.

Jackie Robinson’s legacy goes beyond US borders.  Because of Robinson, Latino players of dark skin were also able to come and play in the big leagues with their American brothers.

Today almost 33 percent of all players in MLB are born in Latin America(higher percentage in the minor leagues)and after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier,some great Latino black players,like Cuban-born Orestes(Minnie) Miñoso who signed as a rookie in 1949 with the Cleveland Indians, before becoming the last player in baseball history to play for five (50 years) different decades.

Minnie played from 1949 until 1980. The Cuban-born Miñoso was the first unquestionable black Latin American in the major leagues, although some others with some black ancestry had played in MLB. By early 1950’s other Latino’s of black skin included, Luis Márquez(Puerto Rico)signed by the Boston Braves and Cuban catcher Rafael(Ray)Noble with the New York Giants as well as Ozzie Virgil Sr.from the Dominican Republic.

According to SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) in 1947; 98.3 perfect of players were white,0.9 percent African-American, 0.7 percent Latinos and 0.0 percent Asian. Decades later, especially in the mid 1950’s the great Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico) and 1960’s many more came from Latin America, like Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Manny Mota, Felipe, Jesús and Mateo Alou, Tony Oliva, Luis Tiant, Leonardo(Leo) Cárdenas, Tony González, Francisco(Panchón)Herrera, José Cardenal, Dagoberto(Campy)Campaneris and more not mentioned.

Some of these Latino players are remembered with statues in the cities where they played,the one and only Roberto Clemente not only with a Statue at PNC Park but with the Roberto Clemente Bridge in downtown Pittsburgh over the Allegheny River.

Today all baseball fans around the world honor the great #42 Jackie Robinson,because he is also a historic figure in countries like Cuba, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panamá, Puerto Rico, México,Nicaragua,Venezuela, Jamaica and all countries where baseball is a major sport, not to mention in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

“I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect” -Jackie Robinson.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Museum and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Pillar and Posey help Bumgarner get fifth win defeat Diamondbacks 10-4

photo by sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar, right, celebrates with Evan Longoria (10) after hitting a two-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray in the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 30, 2019, in San Francisco.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Kevin Pillar and Buster Posey helped out Madison Bumgarner with their bats in the series finale.

Pillar and Posey combined for seven hits, while Bumgarner went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits, walking no one and striking out nine and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-4 before 31,778 at Oracle Park.

With the victory, the Giants ended the month of June with a record of 14-13, their first winning month since going 18-10 in June of 2018.

It was a Pillar two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning that got the Giants going, as he hit his 11th home run of the season.

Pillar added a two-run single in the bottom of the third inning that helped the Giants to the victory and split the four-game series.

Posey doubled in the bottom of the first inning, and then singled in the third and fifth innings, before walking to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning for Evan Longoria with nobody out.

The three hits by Posey match his season-high and marked his second three-hit game in three appearances. During the span, Posey is hitting .750 (6-for-8) with two doubles, two runs scored and two runs batted in.

Pillar hit a solo home run, singled twice and hit a double, as it was his first four-hit since July 13, 2018 for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

It was the fifth four-hit game of Pillars career, who picked up two during the 2017 season and one during the 2015 season.

The five runs batted in by Pillar are a career-high, to go along with his career-high tying four hits.

Longoria then singled in Brandon Belt, who walked to lead off the inning against reliever Matt Andriese. Pillar then followed it up with his fourth hit of the game, as he singled to left to score pinch hitter Alex Dickerson, who singled while pinch hitting for Tyler Austin, who walked and struck out twice before leaving the game.

Mike Yastrzemski got in on the act, as he hit a two-run double to left field to score Longoria and Pillar.

The sixth and final run of the inning came when pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval singled off of T.J. McFarland that scored Yastrzemski.

In all, the Giants sent 10 men to the plate, scored six runs on five hits, as they blew the game wide open.

The Diamondbacks attempted to get back into the game in the top of the eighth inning, as they scored three runs off of reliever Derek Rodriguez.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was ejected in the top of the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes with home plate Mike Muchlinski, and it was fourth all-time ejection for Lovullo in his managerial career.

It was not a good day for Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray, who went just four innings, allowing four runs on six hits, walking three and striking out five and saw his record fall to 5-6 on the season.

NOTES: With the nine strikeouts on the afternoon, Bumgarner tied Tim Lincecum for second place all-time in San Francisco Giants lore with 1,704.

Juan Marichal is the all-time San Francisco Giants leader in strikeouts with 2,281

Will Smith was named as the lone All-Star for the Giants, as he is 1-0 with a 2.16 earned run average with 21 saves in 21 chances this season for the Giants.

Smith is the first Giants left-handed reliever to go to the All-Star Game since Gary Lavelle made the All-Star team in 1983

The 21 saves to start the season are the second most by a Giants reliever to start a season, trailing only Rod Beck who saved 28 in a row to begin the 1994 season.

In his Giants career, Smith is tied for second place with Craig Lefferts with 35 saves by a left-hander, Lavelle is currently the all-time leader in saves for a left-hander with 127.

UP NEXT: Jeff Samardzija takes the mound on Monday night, as the Giants open a brief three-game road trip against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The Padres will counter with Logan Allen.