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The Greatest Latino Ball-Player of Them All

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Here’s a trivia question to stump your friends and confound political correctness: Who was, without a doubt, the greatest Latino baseball player of all time? Roberto Clemente? Albert Pujols? Juan Marichal?

Actually, the answer is Ted Williams, the Boston Red Sox immortal who had the highest career on-base percentage in history.

But no one thinks of “The Splendid Splinter” as Hispanic, despite the fact that his mother, May Venzor, was a Mexican national from El Paso. In a fascinating new Williams biography, “The Kid,” author Ben Bradlee Jr. portrays the baseball superstar hiding his Latino origins out of embarrassment and fear.

This history shows the stupidity in the notion that the “Hispanic” designation constitutes a racial identity. It’s actually a misleading ethnic category applied indiscriminately to people of numerous racial backgrounds that can be either emphasized … or ignored.

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  1. Albert Del Toro  •  Dec 20, 2013 at 10:53 am

    The Great One…The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero…Roberto Clemente.

    • Dale Strom  •  Dec 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Haven’t heard about the Bradlee Jr. tome. Did read “Hitter” by Ed Linn. Great story of how hard he played as a kid while his mother worked late and left the Williams brothers alone to fend for themselves. You may want to look at Mr. Linn’s book first.
      Merry Christmas

    • BBfan  •  Jan 4, 2014 at 5:46 am

      On-base % confirms Williams reputation as the best HITTER of our time. Williams was deficient defensively compared to Clemente, had to be parked in left or right field while Clemente could play center. Williams played home games in a hitter’s park his whole career, while Clemente played over half his home games in Forbes Field in the 50’s & 60’s — at that time the hardest place in the majors to hit a home run. Williams played almost half his career before Blacks were allowed to compete in the majors which raised the level of competition; to his credit he did spend 2 of his prime years in the military during Korea. Williams got to face starting pitchers that often pitched into the 7th & 8th innings with tired arms that gave up hits more easily; Clemente played when specialized relief pitchers with fresh arms taking over in the later innings started to appear on the scene and when the mounds were raised that created the “pitchers era ” of the ’60’s. Current Latino players have to face middle – relief specialists and late inning closers, with starting pitchers leaving as early as the 4th inning because they’re on “pitch counts” (those highly-paid arms must not wear out before a possible playoff run). The best all-around Latino player of our time may well be playing today!

      • elfego slaughter  •  Apr 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        Williams was an all time great ,but even Johnny Pesky will give you the scoop! Search: Roberto Clemente br bullpen Chech out the Total Package section there! The only thing that kept Clemente from the most valuable player EVER was when they decided to erect outfield walls they killed his frightening line drives and killed his greatest outfield arm ever ‘cus he could have played deeper than anyone with that ARM of Zeus not to mention the most important thing, he hit hall of fame pitching better than anyone in history!!!!!!

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