Luis Aparicio

Luis Ernesto Aparicio Montiel (born April 29, 1934), nicknamed "Little Louie", is a former professional baseball player. He was a Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop from 1956 to 1973, most notably for the Chicago White Sox. He became known for his exceptional fielding and base stealing skills,[1][2] and is the first Venezuelan player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.[1]

Aparicio won the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year Award in 1956. He helped the "Go-Go" White Sox win the AL championship in 1959 and was the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) runner-up that season (he led the AL in stolen bases, putouts, assists, and fielding as shortstop). He was an AL All-Star for ten seasons,[3][a] an AL stolen base leader for 9 consecutive seasons, and an AL Gold Glove winner for 9 seasons.[4][5]

MLB legend Ted Williams called Aparicio "the best shortstop he had ever seen".[6] He was nominated for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team (one-hundred greatest players) in 1999.[7]

Luis Aparicio
Luis Aparicio 2012
Aparicio in 2012
Shortstop
Born: April 29, 1934 (age 85)
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 17, 1956, for the Chicago White Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1973, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.262
Hits2,677
Home runs83
Runs batted in791
Stolen bases506
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1984
Vote84.62% (sixth ballot)

Early life

Aparicio was born in Maracaibo, Zulia State, Venezuela.[2] His father, Luis Aparicio Sr., was a notable shortstop in Venezuela and owned a Winter League team with Aparicio's uncle, Ernesto Aparicio.[8] At the age of 19, Aparicio was selected as a member of the Venezuelan team in the 1953 Amateur World Series held in Caracas.[2] He signed to play for the local professional team in Maracaibo alongside his father in 1953. In a symbolic gesture during the team's 1953 home opener, his father led off as the first hitter of the game, took the first pitch, and had Aparicio Jr. take his place at bat.[2]

Major league career

Chicago White Sox (1956–1962)

The Cleveland Indians had been negotiating to sign Aparicio, but Indians General Manager Hank Greenberg expressed the opinion that he was too small to play in the major leagues.[2] Chicago White Sox General Manager Frank Lane, on the recommendation of fellow Venezuelan shortstop Chico Carrasquel, then signed Aparicio for $5,000 down and $5,000 in first year salary.[9] After only two years in the minor leagues, he made his major league debut at the age of 22, replacing Carrasquel as the White Sox shortstop in 1956.[2] Aparicio would lead the American League in stolen bases, assists, and putouts, and won both the Rookie of the Year and The Sporting News Rookie of the Year awards.[4][10][11] He was the first Latin American player to win the Rookie of the Year award.[2]

Aparicio quickly became an integral member of the Go-Go White Sox teams of the mid-1950s, who were known for their speed and strong defense. Over the next decade, Aparicio set the standard for the spray-hitting, slick-fielding, speedy shortstop.[8] He combined with second baseman Nellie Fox to become one of the best double play combinations in major league baseball.[12][13] Aparicio once again led the American League in stolen bases and assists in 1957 as the White Sox would hold first place until late June before finishing the season in second place behind the New York Yankees.[12][14]

In 1958, Aparicio earned recognition as one of the top shortstops in major league baseball when he was selected to be the starting shortstop for the American League in the 1958 All-Star Game.[15] The White Sox would once again finish the season in second place behind the Yankees, after being in last place on June 14.[16] Aparicio again led the league in stolen bases, assists and putouts, and would win his first Gold Glove Award.[4][17]

Aparicio was the team leader when the "Go Go" White Sox won the American League pennant in 1959, finishing the regular season five games ahead of the Cleveland Indians.[18] Aparicio finished the runner-up to team-mate Nellie Fox in the American League Most Valuable Player Award balloting.[19] He was selected as a starting All-Star for the second time and also won a second Gold Glove award.[20][21] He posted a .308 batting average in the 1959 World Series as the White Sox were defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a six-game series.[22] When Aparicio stole fifty bases in his first sixty-one attempts in 1959, the term "Aparicio double" was coined to represent a walk and a stolen base.[23] Following the death of fellow teammate Johnny Romano, Aparicio became the last surviving player to play with the White Sox in the 1959 World Series.

In 1960 and 1961, Aparicio continued to be one of the top shortstops in the American League, finishing at or near the top in fielding percentage and assists. In 1962, he showed up overweight and had an off year and the White Sox offered him a reduction in salary for the 1963 season.[24] An enraged Aparicio said that he would quit rather than accept a decrease in pay and demanded to be traded.[24] The White Sox eventually traded him to the Baltimore Orioles with Al Smith for Hoyt Wilhelm, Ron Hansen, Dave Nicholson and Pete Ward in January 1963.[25]

Baltimore Orioles (1963–1967)

Aparicio regained his form in Baltimore and continued to lead the league in stolen bases and in fielding percentage, producing a career-high .983 fielding percentage in 1963.[4] Together with Brooks Robinson and Jerry Adair, he was part of one of the better defensive infields in baseball.[26][27] In 1964, he would lead the league in stolen bases for a ninth consecutive year and win his sixth Gold Glove Award.[4][28] Aparicio posted a .276 batting average with 182 hits in 1966, tied with teammate Frank Robinson for the second-most hits in the league behind Tony Oliva and won a seventh Gold Glove Award as the Orioles clinched their first American League pennant.[29][30][31] He finished ninth in the American League Most Valuable Player Award balloting and helped the Orioles sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1966 World Series.[32][33]

Chicago White Sox (1968–1970)

Aparicio returned to the White Sox for the 1968 season after being traded for Don Buford.[25] He continued to play well defensively, leading the league in range factor in 1968 and 1969.[4] Aparicio had his best overall offensive season in 1970, scoring 86 runs and finishing fourth in the American League batting race with a career-high .313 average.[4] In addition, he earned his eighth All-Star berth that year, as well as his ninth Gold Glove.[34][35] Despite the White Sox finishing in last place, Aparicio finished 12th in the 1970 American League Most Valuable Player Award balloting.[36][37] In December 1970, after three seasons with the White Sox, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Luis Alvarado and Mike Andrews.[25]

Boston Red Sox (1971–1973)

In 1971, Aparicio was one at bat from tying the longest Major League hitless streak for non-pitchers held by Bill Bergen with 45, set in 1909 with Brooklyn Superbas, by going without a hit in 44 at bats.[38] Aparicio then hit a grand slam home run against the Indians in Cleveland and then led off a night game at Fenway with another home run.[39] He hit only .232 for the year, the second lowest average in his career.[4]

In 1972, Aparicio made a late-season baserunning blunder that contributed to the Red Sox losing the 1972 American League Eastern Division title by half a game to the Detroit Tigers.[40] In an October 2 game against Detroit, Aparicio fell while rounding third base on an apparent triple by Carl Yastrzemski, leading to Yastrzemski being tagged out as he tried to retreat to second base.[41] In his last year as an active player in 1973, Aparicio would hit for a .271 average and steal his 500th base, against the New York Yankees, on July 5.[42] He retired at the end of the season at the age of 39.[4]

Career statistics

Aparicio played for 18 major league seasons in 2,599 games, accumulating 2,677 hits in 10,230 at bats for a .262 career batting average along with 394 doubles, 83 home runs, 791 runs batted in, 1,335 runs and 506 stolen bases.[4] He ended his career with a .972 fielding percentage.[4] Aparicio led American League shortstops eight times in fielding percentage, seven times in assists, and four times in range factor and putouts.[4] He led the American League in stolen bases in nine consecutive seasons (1956–64) and won the Gold Glove Award nine times (1958–62, 1964, 1966, 1970).[4][43][44] Aparicio was also a ten-time (ten seasons) All Star[4][45] (1958–64, 1970–72); he was named to 13 out of 14 All-Star Games (MLB held two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962), and was the starting shortstop in six All-Star games and played in 10 games (he didn't play in the second All-Star game in 1960 and was injured and replaced in the 1964 and 1972 games and didn't play).

SoxRetired11
Luis Aparicio's number 11 was retired by the Chicago White Sox in 1984.

At the time of his retirement, Aparicio was the all-time leader for most games played, assists and double plays by a shortstop and the all-time leader for putouts and total chances by an American League shortstop.[1] His nine Gold Glove Awards set an American League record for shortstops, that was tied by Omar Vizquel in 2001.[44] He tied the record of most seasons leading the league in fielding average by shortstops with 8, previously set by Everett Scott and Lou Boudreau.[46]

His 2,583 games played at shortstop stood as the Major League record for that position from his retirement in 1973 until May 2008 when it was surpassed by Omar Vizquel.[46] His 2,677 hits was also the major league record for players from Venezuela, until it was surpassed by Omar Vizquel on June 25, 2009. His 2,673 hits as a shortstop was a record until Derek Jeter broke it on August 17, 2009. He had 13 consecutive seasons with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title and an on-base percentage less than .325, a major league record (His career OBP was slightly better than the shortstop average during his era; .311 vs .309). A more impressive streak was his 16 straight seasons with more than 500 plate appearances, tied for fifth best in major league history. Aparicio never played any defensive position other than shortstop.[47]

  • AL leader in at bats (1966)
  • AL leader in singles (1966)
  • AL leader in sacrifice hits (1956, 1960)
  • AL leader in stolen bases (1956–1964)
  • AL leader in putouts as shortstop (1956, 1958, 1959, 1966)
  • AL leader in fielding average as shortstop (1959–1966)

Awards and honors

Luis Aparicio Statue
In bronze, shortstop Aparicio waits for the baseball being flipped from teammate Nellie Fox.

Aparicio was inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, the first native of Venezuela to be honored.[1] The Chicago White Sox also retired Aparicio's uniform number 11 that year. In 2010, the White Sox gave number 11 to shortstop Omar Vizquel, with Aparicio's permission. Vizquel said that wearing the number would preserve the name of a great Venezuelan shortstop. Aparicio commented, "If there is one player who I would like to see wear my uniform number with the White Sox, it is Omar Vizquel. I have known Omar for a long time. Along with being an outstanding player, he is a good and decent man."[48]

In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included Aparicio in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. In 1999, The Sporting News did not include him on their list of The Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players, but Major League Baseball did list him as one of their 100 nominees for their All-Century Team.[7]

In 2003, Aparicio was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.[49]

In 2005, he was given the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Game One of the 2005 World Series, the first World Series game to be played in Chicago by the Chicago White Sox since the 1959 World Series, when Aparicio had been the starting shortstop for the White Sox.[50]

In 2004, the first annual Luis Aparicio Award was presented to the Venezuelan player who recorded the best individual performance in Major League Baseball, as voted on by sports journalists in Venezuela.

In honour of Aparicio's stealing abilities, a walk and a stolen base was known as an "Aparicio double"[51]

In 2006, two bronze statues, one depicting Aparicio, the other depicting former White Sox second baseman Nellie Fox, were unveiled on the outfield concourse of U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Fox's statue shows him flipping a baseball toward Aparicio, while Aparicio's statue shows him preparing to receive the ball from Fox.[52]

In 2007, Aparicio was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.[53]

There is a stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela, bearing his father's name. The full name of the stadium is Estadio Luis Aparicio El Grande (Luis Aparicio "the Great" Stadium) in honor to Luis Aparicio Ortega.[54] Also, the sports complex where the stadium is located is named Polideportivo Luis Aparicio Montiel. There are also several streets and avenues bearing his name throughout Venezuela.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ MLB held two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Luis Aparicio". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Luis Aparicio at the SABR Bio Project, by Leonte Landino, retrieved February 4, 2012
  3. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame, Luis Aparicio, "10-time All-Star" [1] Retrieved April 17, 2015
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Luis Aparicio". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  5. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame, Luis Aparicio [2] Retrieved April 17, 2015
  6. ^ Eldridge, Larry (January 10, 1984). "Shortstop Aparicio may be short hop from Hall of Fame, finally. The Christian Science Monitor. [3] Retrieved April 17, 2015
  7. ^ a b "The Major League Baseball All-Century Team". MLB.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Rogin, Gilbert (May 9, 1960). "Happy Little Luis". Sports Illustrated. Sports-Illustrated.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  9. ^ James, Bill (2001). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York: Free Press. p. 599. ISBN 0-684-80697-5.
  10. ^ "1959 Rookie of the Year Award voting results". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  11. ^ "Rookie of the Year Award by The Sporting News". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Terrell, Roy (May 13, 1957). "The Go-sox Go Again". Sports Illustrated. Sports-Illustrated.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  13. ^ Woodcock, Les (August 10, 1959). "Two For The Pennant". Sports Illustrated. Sports-Illustrated.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  14. ^ "1957 Chicago White Sox Season". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  15. ^ "1958 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  16. ^ "1958 Chicago White Sox Season". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  17. ^ "1958 Gold Glove Award Winners". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  18. ^ "1959 American League Final Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  19. ^ "1959 American League Most Valuable Player Award voting results". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  20. ^ "1959 Gold Glove Award Winners". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  21. ^ "1959 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  22. ^ "1959 World Series". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  23. ^ Dickson, Paul (1989). The Dickson Baseball Dictionary. United States: Facts on File. p. 12. ISBN 0816017417.
  24. ^ a b "If Luis Aparicio Clubhouse Lawyer, Baltimore Would Like Bench Full". Times Daily. NEA. April 21, 1963. p. 2. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  25. ^ a b c "Luis Aparicio Trades and Transactions". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  26. ^ Kuenster, John (June 2004). Shortstop and Third Base Team Mates Who Led League in Fielding. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  27. ^ Kuenster, John (June 2009). Middle Infield Tandems That Won Fielding Titles, Same Season. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  28. ^ "1964 Gold Glove Award Winners". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  29. ^ "1966 American League Batting Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  30. ^ "1966 Gold Glove Award Winners". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  31. ^ "1966 American League Final Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  32. ^ "1966 World Series". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  33. ^ "1966 American League Most Valuable Player Award voting results". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  34. ^ "1970 Gold Glove Award Winners". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  35. ^ "1970 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  36. ^ "1970 American League Final Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  37. ^ "1970 American League Most Valuable Player Award voting results". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  38. ^ Fimrite, Ron (June 14, 1971). "Even The President Worried". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  39. ^ Prime, Jim; Nowlin, Bill. Tales From The Red Sox Dugout. Books.Google.com. ISBN 1-58261-348-6. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  40. ^ "October 2, 1972 Red Sox-Tigers box score". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  41. ^ "Today In History – Base-Running Blunders Doom Boston". fenwayfanatics.com. October 2, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  42. ^ "July 5, 1973 Red Sox-Yankees box score". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  43. ^ "Stolen Base Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  44. ^ a b "Multiple Winners of the Gold Glove Awards". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  45. ^ Donnelly, Patrick. SportsData LLC. (2012). Midsummer Classics: Celebrating MLB's All-Star Game. 1959–1962: "all players who were named to the AL or NL roster were credited with one appearance per season" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 30, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). SportsData http://www.sportsdatallc.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  46. ^ a b Kuenster, John (June 2005). Shortstops By The Numbers. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  47. ^ "Luis Aparicio Biography". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  48. ^ "Luis Aparicio's number comes back from retirement for one... last... job". ESPN. February 11, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  49. ^ "Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame". Baseball Bullpen.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  50. ^ "Aparicio pays visit to Guillen". MLB.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  51. ^ Dickson, Paul (1989). The Dickson Baseball Dictionary. New York: FactsOnFile Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 0816017417.
  52. ^ "Aparicio, Fox honored with statues". MLB.com. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  53. ^ "Hispanis Heritage Baseball Museum". Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  54. ^ "Estadio Luis Aparicio El Grande". Mundo-Andino.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2010.

Further reading

External links

1963 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1963 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing fourth in the American League with a record of 86 wins and 76 losses.

1979 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1979 followed the system in place since 1978, except that players who appeared on fewer than 5% of BBWAA ballots would now no longer be eligible in future elections.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Willie Mays.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected Warren Giles and Hack Wilson.

1984 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1984 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected three: Luis Aparicio, Don Drysdale, and Harmon Killebrew.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected two players, Rick Ferrell and Pee Wee Reese.

2012–13 LVBP season

The 2012–13 season of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP by its initialism in Spanish) was the 65th edition of this tournament. It started on October 11, 2012. A total of eight teams participated in the competition, as in the previous season. The tournament was played in honor of Luis Aparicio Ortega, who played in Venezuelan professional baseball between 1931 and 1954 with teams including Magellan, Elders of Vargas, and Gavilanes, in addition to being manager of the Aguilas del Zulia and father of infielder Luis Aparicio.

Baseball in Venezuela

Baseball in Venezuela originates with the early twentieth century cultural influence of United States oil companies, and is the country's leading sport. The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (VPBL) is a winter league that was established in 1945, with Leones del Caracas the leading team; another leading club is Valencia's Navegantes del Magallanes, established in 1917. There is a Venezuelan Summer League established in 1997 and composed of teams affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs. The Liga paralela is a secondary Venezuelan winter league, with the teams acting as farm teams for VPBL clubs.

Venezuelan teams have won the Caribbean Series a number of times. The Venezuela national baseball team won the Baseball World Cup several times in the 1940s, and the baseball tournament at the Pan American Games in 1959. The team finished 7th in the inaugural World Baseball Classic and 3rd in the 2009 event, but has dropped to 10th in the 2013 event.

Over 350 Venezuelans have played in Major League Baseball since 1939, with 59 Venezuelans playing in MLB as of Opening Day 2014, the second most from any country (after the Dominican Republic). The Luis Aparicio Award was established in 2004, in honor of Luis Aparicio, the only Venezuelan ballplayer to have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The award is given annually to honor the Venezuelan player who recorded the best individual performance in Major League Baseball, as voted on by sports journalists in Venezuela.

Six MLB teams maintained training academies in Venezuela in 2010, down from 21 in 2002. Possible reasons for the decline include strained relations between the U.S. and Venezuela and the increasingly ubiquitous presence of MLB teams in the country creating more competition for talent there.The high crime rates prevalent in some parts of Venezuela have occasionally affected those involved with baseball. In November 2011 Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped while home to play for his Venezuelan winter league team, Tigres de Aragua. Two days later he was rescued unharmed by police commandos in the mountains of Carabobo state. Eight people were arrested in connection with the kidnapping.Out of the 50 players involved in the 2012 Major League Baseball World Series, 9 were Venezuelan.

Carlos González (baseball)

Carlos Eduardo González (born October 17, 1985), nicknamed CarGo, is a Venezuelan professional baseball right fielder for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also played for the Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, and Cleveland Indians. A three-time All-Star, González was the National League batting champion in 2010. He has also won two Silver Slugger Awards and is a three-time Gold Glove Award winner. While mainly a left fielder throughout his career, González became the Rockies starting right fielder in 2015.

Estadio José Pachencho Romero

Estadio José Encarnación "Pachencho" Romero is a sports stadium in Maracaibo, capital of the Zulia state, in Venezuela. The stadium holds 40,800 spectators. The pitch was originally surrounded by both a running track and a scorched concrete cycling track, the latter being replaced with new stands due to the celebration of Copa América 2007.

The building is regarded as national cultural heritage of the Zulia state (code IFA 063,045). And their maintenance responsibility Case runs idem, Foundation attached to the Mayoralty Maracaibo. It was built because of the Bolivarian Sports Games of 1971 and remodeled on the occasion of the Games Central American and Caribbean Maracaibo 1998 in which the national team won a gold medal at the selection of Mexico. His name is in honor of a prominent athlete Zulia dedicated to athletics.

It was one of 9 locations in the Copa América Venezuela 2007 being the headquarters of the Grand Final, where they conducted a classic South American football selections found Argentina and Brazil, where the latter was entitled to defend his champion title Perú 2004.

On 2 July 2007 when he was still in development in the country's Copa América, the President of CONMEBOL Dr. Nicolás Leoz, announced that the Pachencho Romero stadium would host the World Cup Under-15 category 2008.

This stadium is one of many who belong to a conglomerate of several sports stadiums known as Polideportivo Luis Aparicio Jr. where others are also among the Luis Aparicio el Grande (baseball) and Peter Elías Belisario Aponte Gymnasium (basketball).

Estadio Luis Aparicio El Grande

Estadio Luis Aparicio El Grande is a multi-use stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela. It is currently used mostly for baseball games and serves as the home of Águilas del Zulia. The stadium holds 23,900 people and opened in 1963. It also hosted the 1986 Caribbean Series. It is named after longtime Maracaibo shortstop Luis Aparicio, Sr., the father of Luis Aparicio.

The American boy band Backstreet Boys performed at the stadium on May 9, 2001 during Black & Blue Tour.

Gavilanes de Maracaibo

The Gavilanes de Maracaibo was a Venezuelan professional baseball club based in Maracaibo, the capital city of Zulia state. The team was founded by the brothers and ballplayers Ernesto Aparicio and Luis Aparicio, Sr., and debuted in the extinct Zulian Baseball League First Division, which was created in 1932 and folded at the end of the 1940 season. After five years of absence, the league resumed operations in 1946 and remained active until 1952.

The Gavilanes (Sparrowhawks) were the most successful team in this period, winning 13 of the 17 tournaments played, eight with Ernesto Aparicio at the helm. As a result, Gavilanes and the Pastora BBC maintained a strong and fierce rivalry on the baseball field during the existence of the league. Accustomed to second place in the standings, Pastora captured the 1934 and 1948 titles while the Orange Victoria team won in the 1951 season.

After that, the circuit was renamed Liga Occidental de Béisbol Profesional before joining Organized Baseball in 1953, operating continuously until 1964.

In 1953, the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League and the recent created LOBP agreed to have the most representative clubs from each circuit meet in a National Championship Series called El Rotatorio, the first and only in VPBL history. The Cervecería Caracas and Navegantes del Magallanes clubs represented the VPBL, while Gavilanes and Pastora represented the LOBP. The Gavilanes were managed by Red Kress, a former major league shortstop and minor league manager.

The pennant was clinched by the Pastora club with a 48-30 record, winning easily over Magallanes (40-37), Gavilanes (34-44) and Caracas (33-44). The disappointing Gavilanes were a favorite to grasp the championship, as the team featured a remarkably well-balanced squad headed by pitchers Alejandro Carrasquel, Bob Chakales, Emilio Cueche, Art Houtteman, Sad Sam Jones, Elmer Singleton, Bill Upton and Lenny Yochim; catchers Earl Averill and Hank Foiles; infielders Piper Davis (2B/3B), Dalmiro Finol (3B/2B/1B) and Lee Thomas (1B); outfielders Joe Frazier (RF), Jim Lemon (LF) and Dave Pope (CF), and a 19-year-old rookie shortstop named Luis Aparicio, Jr., who in 1984 would become the first Venezuelan player to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Gavilanes came back to the Occidental League for the inaugural 1954-55 season, winning consecutive titles in the 1955-56 and 1956-57 tournaments. Out in the 1957-58 season, Gavilanes returned as a replacement for the Centauros de Maracaibo in 1958-59 and played its last season in 1959-60.

The LOBP ceased operations after the 1963-64 season. Since then, no other team named Gavilanes has participated in Venezuelan professional baseball.

Jesús Aguilar

Jesús Alexander Aguilar (born June 30, 1990) is a Venezuelan professional baseball first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2014 with the Cleveland Indians. Aguilar was an All-Star in 2018.

List of Gold Glove Award winners at shortstop

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985, 2007, and 2018), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in the entire league; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.Ozzie Smith, known as "the Wizard of Oz", has won the most Gold Glove Awards at shortstop; he captured 13 awards in his 19 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. Omar Vizquel is second among shortstops with 11 wins; he won two with the San Francisco Giants in the National League after winning nine with the Seattle Mariners and the Cleveland Indians in the American League. Luis Aparicio won nine times at shortstop for the third-highest total, followed by Mark Belanger with eight wins. Dave Concepción and Derek Jeter have won five awards; four-time winners at shortstop include Tony Fernández and Alan Trammell. Hall of Famers who have won Gold Glove Awards at shortstop include Smith, Aparicio, Ernie Banks, Robin Yount, Barry Larkin and Cal Ripken, Jr., whose 2,632 consecutive games played earned him his "Iron Man" nickname.Vizquel made the fewest errors during a shortstop's winning season, with three in 2000; his .995 fielding percentage that season leads American League and major league shortstops, and his 2006 total of four errors is tied for the National League lead with Rey Ordóñez (1999). Ordóñez' .994 fielding percentage in 1999 leads National Leaguers in that category. Aparicio leads winners in putouts, with 305 in 1960; Concepción (1976) and Smith (1983) are tied for the National League lead with 304. Smith's 621 assists are best among all shortstops, and Belanger (552 assists in 1974) is the American League leader. Gene Alley turned 128 double plays in 1966 to lead winners in that category; Ripken leads American Leaguers, with 119 turned in 1992.

List of Major League Baseball annual stolen base leaders

Major League Baseball recognizes stolen base leaders in the American League and National League each season.

List of Major League Baseball career assists leaders

In baseball, an assist (denoted by A) is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is credited to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball (after it has been hit by the batter) prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional. For example, if a ball strikes a player's leg and bounces off him to another fielder, who tags the baserunner, the first player is credited with an assist. A fielder can receive a maximum of one assist per out recorded. An assist is also credited if a putout would have occurred, had another fielder not committed an error. For example, a shortstop might field a ground ball cleanly, but the first baseman might drop his throw. In this case, an error would be charged to the first baseman, and the shortstop would be credited with an assist.

Rabbit Maranville is the all-time leader with 8,967 career assists. Ozzie Smith (8,375), Cal Ripken Jr. (8,214), Bill Dahlen (8,138), Omar Vizquel (8,050), and Luis Aparicio (8,016) are the only other players to record more than 8,000 career assists.

Luis Aparicio Award

The Luis Aparicio Award is given annually to a Venezuelan player in Major League Baseball (MLB) who is judged to have recorded the best individual performance in that year. The winner of the award is determined by a vote conducted by Venezuelan sports journalists and Spanish-language media around the world. It is named after former MLB shortstop Luis Aparicio, who is the only player from Venezuela to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The award was first presented in 2004, and was created in order to honour Aparicio's major league career and to commemorate his father, who died thirteen years before his son was elected into the Hall of Fame.Johan Santana, José Altuve, and Miguel Cabrera are the only players to win the Luis Aparicio Award more than once, with Cabrera having won the award five times. Cabrera won the MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award and Hank Aaron Award alongside the Luis Aparicio Award in 2012 and 2013, becoming the first Venezuelan to win the MLB MVP Award. Santana, the 2004 and 2006 recipient, also won the Cy Young Award in those two years, winning by a unanimous vote on each occasion. Altuve, also a winner in 2014 and 2016, is the only player to win the Luis Aparicio Award, the MVP award, and become a World Series champion in the same season in 2017. He has also won a batting title in each of his three award seasons. Santana (2006) and Cabrera (2012) are the only award winners to also earn the pitching and batting Triple Crown respectively in the same season. In accomplishing the feat, Cabrera became the first player in 45 years to achieve a Triple Crown in batting since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, while Santana became the first pitcher since Dwight Gooden in 1985 to secure a "Major League Triple Crown" by leading all of MLB in wins, earned run average and strikeouts. Francisco Rodríguez compiled a major league record of 62 saves in a single season in 2008 and went on to win the Rolaids Relief Man Award in the same year as the Luis Aparicio Award. Four winners—Cabrera, Altuve, Magglio Ordóñez, and Carlos González—were batting champions in their respective leagues in the same year they won the award.The award is presented annually before a baseball game hosted by the local team, Águilas del Zulia, on November 18 in Aparicio's hometown of Maracaibo, Zulia. The date marks both the feast of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá—the patron saint of Zulia—and the anniversary of Aparicio's professional debut. As of 2018, the most recent co-recipients of the award are Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and Jesús Aguilar of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Luis Aparicio Sr.

Luis Aparicio Ortega (August 28, 1912 – January 1, 1971) was a Venezuelan professional baseball personality for 40 years, serving as a player, coach, field manager, and club organizer. Aparicio was the father of Baseball Hall of Fame member Luis Aparicio.

Magglio Ordóñez

Magglio José Ordóñez Delgado (; born January 28, 1974) is a retired Venezuelan Major League Baseball right fielder. He played for the Chicago White Sox (1997–2004) and Detroit Tigers (2005–2011). Ordóñez is 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighs 215 lb (98 kg). Having posted a career .309 batting average over 15 seasons, Ordóñez retired from the major leagues as a Tiger on June 3, 2012 in a ceremony at Comerica Park prior to the afternoon game.

In 2013, he announced that he would be running for public office in his native country of Venezuela and was elected mayor of the Juan Antonio Sotillo Municipality on December 8, 2013.

Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio (Born October 14, 1968), known by the nickname "Nasty Nestor," is an American sports writer and radio personality.

Aparicio was born and raised in Dundalk, Maryland. He is Venezuelan-American, and the first cousin, once removed of former Major League Baseball shortstop Luis Aparicio, as his father is a first cousin of Luis Aparicio. He began as a sports writer at The Evening Sun edition of The Baltimore Sun where he continued as a sportswriter and music critic from 1986 until 1992. Starting in 1992 at WITH-AM 1230, Aparicio began doing daily sports talk radio both in Baltimore and later for three years at Sporting News Radio in national-syndication with 425 cities across the USA. He retired from daily radio in 2004 to concentrate on running the WNST radio station and website, which he owns and operates as Nasty 1570 Sports, LLC.

Ronald Acuña Jr.

Ronald José Acuña Blanco Jr. (born December 18, 1997) is a Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2018, and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

Waterloo Hawks (baseball)

The Waterloo Hawks was the primary name of the minor league franchise that existed on-and-off for 79 seasons between 1895 and 1993 in Waterloo, Iowa. The franchise relocated to Springfield, Illinois in 1994, before eventually becoming today's Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League. Waterloo won 12 league championships, playing in the Mississippi Valley League (1922-1932), Western League (1936), Illinois-Iowa-Indiana League (1940-1942) and the Midwest League (1958-1993). The Hawks were affiliated with the Chicago White Sox (1932, 1940-1942), Boston Red Sox (1958 to 1968), Kansas City Royals (1969-1976), Cleveland Indians (1977-1988) and San Diego Padres (1990-1993). Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees Carlton Fisk and Luis Aparicio played for Waterloo.

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