Orlando Cepeda

Orlando Manuel "Peruchin" Cepeda Pennes (Spanish pronunciation: [oɾˈlando seˈpeða]; born September 17, 1937) is a Puerto Rican former Major League Baseball first baseman and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The 1958 National League Rookie of the Year, Cepeda was voted the National League Most Valuable Player in 1967, the year his team, the St. Louis Cardinals, won the World Series. Overall, he appeared in three World Series and was the first winner of the American League's Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in 1973. He batted .300 or better 9 times in the 14 seasons he appeared in over 100 games, much of it played in what is now called the "Second Deadball Era."[1]

Cepeda was born to a poor family. His father, Pedro "Perucho" Cepeda, was also a baseball player in Puerto Rico, which influenced Cepeda's interest in the sport from a young age. His first contact with professional baseball was as a bat boy for the Santurce Crabbers of Puerto Rico. Pedro Zorilla, the team's owner, persuaded Cepeda's family to let him attend a New York Giants tryout. He played for several Minor League Baseball teams before attracting the interest of the Giants, who had just moved to San Francisco.

During a 17-year career, he played with the San Francisco Giants (1958–66), St. Louis Cardinals (1966–68), Atlanta Braves (1969–72), Oakland Athletics (1972), Boston Red Sox (1973), and Kansas City Royals (1974). Cepeda was selected to play in seven Major League Baseball All-Star Games during his career, becoming the first player from Puerto Rico to start one. In 1978, Cepeda was sentenced to five years in prison on drug possession charges, of which he served ten months in prison and the rest on probation. In 1987, Cepeda was contracted by the San Francisco Giants to work as a scout and "goodwill ambassador." In 1999, Cepeda was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

Orlando Cepeda
Orlando Cepeda 1962
Cepeda with the Giants in 1962
First baseman
Born: September 17, 1937 (age 81)
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 15, 1958, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
September 19, 1974, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
Batting average.297
Home runs379
Runs batted in1,365
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
Election MethodVeteran's Committee

Early life

Orlando Cepeda was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, to Pedro Aníbal Cepeda (1905/6-1955) and Carmen Pennes. The family was poor, and lived in wood houses without a telephone or refrigerator.[2] His father was a professional baseball player in Puerto Rico, where he was known as "Perucho" and "The Bull", and was widely considered one of the best players of his generation.[3] Orlando was thus known as "The Baby Bull." Cepeda saw his father play baseball for the first time in 1946, and was instantly interested in the game.[4][5]

Because he was black and the bulk of his career was played before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color bar, Perucho Cepeda could not play in the major leagues. Several players from the Negro leagues visited their house, which influenced his view of the sport. He became a fan of Minnie Miñoso, following his career in the Cuban League, Negro leagues, Major League Baseball, and the Caribbean.

When he was ten years old, Cepeda began to sell newspapers in order to participate in a baseball tournament organized for the paper boys.[6] His first tryout came three years later. He practiced with the team for three months but did not make the roster. Cepeda then began playing basketball, but he tore a knee cartilage and underwent surgery. The injury kept him inactive for nearly a year, and the doctor recommended that he avoid practicing basketball.[7] He began practicing again, noticing that his physical strength had significantly improved in two years.

One day, an amateur baseball player saw him play and recruited him to play with his team. The organization won Puerto Rico's amateur championship and went on to play against an All-Star team from the Dominican Republic. Pedro Zorilla, then owner of the Santurce Crabbers, attended this game to scout another player, but after seeing Cepeda play, he became interested in him. In 1953, Zorilla brought him onto the team to work as a bat boy. After retiring, Pedro Cepeda worked for the government, checking the water of rivers in the municipality. He contracted malaria, which eventually precipitated his death at age 49.[2] This illness worsened the family's living conditions. They moved from Guayama to Juncos, where their financial condition deteriorated. They moved again, this time to San Juan, where his mother worked odd jobs to support the family.[8] After her father's death, there was not sufficient income in the household to pay for college.[9]

Baseball career

Minor League Baseball

In 1955, Zorilla persuaded Cepeda's family to purchase an airplane ticket so that he could participate in a New York Giants tryout. After passing the tryout, he was assigned by the Giants to Sandersville, a Class D team.[10] Cepeda was subsequently transferred to a team in Salem, Virginia. He had trouble adapting because he did not speak English. He also encountered discrimination due to the racial segregation under the Jim Crow laws.[11] Shortly after this move, Zorilla called to inform him that his father was in critical condition. Pedro Cepeda died a few days later. Orlando paid the burial expenses and returned to Salem. Cepeda was depressed, which affected his performance.[12] He wanted to quit and return to Puerto Rico, but Zorilla convinced him to play for the Kokomo Giants, a team in the Mississippi–Ohio Valley League. Walt Dixon, the team's manager, assigned him to the third baseman position. Cepeda batted in the "cleanup spot", finishing with a .393 average, hitting 21 home runs and 91 runs batted in.[13] Jim Tobin, who owned his contract noticed his potential and sold his player's rights back to the New York Giants. After a visit to Puerto Rico, Cepeda returned to New York, before being sent to play with St. Cloud in Class C. The team reassigned him to play first base. Cepeda adapted to the change quickly. That year, he won the Northern League Triple Crown, finishing with an average of .355 with 112 RBIs and 26 home runs.[13] Jack Schwarz promoted him to Class B, a decision that he protested, noting that players with worse performance were being sent to Double A. Following a solid season in Class B, Cepeda played for the Crabbers in the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League (LBPPR) during the winter, concluding with a batting average of .310, with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs. He then signed a Class A contract with Springfield, accepting it on condition that he be allowed to play with the Minneapolis Millers in spring training. Cepeda had a slow start, but his performance improved as the season advanced, and the team retained him in their roster. After completing the 1957 season with the Millers, he returned to Puerto Rico and played in the LBPPR. While he was playing with Santurce, Bill Rigney, Horace Stoneham and Tom Sheehan scouted him on behalf of the Giants, who had just moved from New York to San Francisco. He was invited to the team's spring training along with other prospects, including Felipe Alou and Willie Kirkland.

San Francisco Giants (1958–1966)

Orlando Cepeda 1965
Cepeda in 1965

Cepeda was called up by the San Francisco Giants in 1958. His 13 home runs for the season through May 31, 1958, are tied with those of Joc Pederson (2015) for the second-most by a National League rookie through the end of May in baseball history, behind Albert Pujols (16, in 2001).[14][15]

He signed his first major league contract ten minutes before debuting in the league, earning $7,000 for the season.[16] In San Francisco, the team received significant media attention. Due to his performance, the team raised his salary to $9,500 in June.[17] During this season, Cepeda lived with Rubén Gómez, but stopped doing so after some tension developed between them.

His average remained steady throughout the season, never falling below .305, which was his average in September.[18] The Giants held the National League's lead for a month, but their record in August and September was below .500, and they lost the pennant race.

In his first season, Cepeda batted .312 with 25 home runs and 96 RBI, led the National League in doubles (38), and was named Rookie of the Year. Cepeda and Willie Mays were the only National League players to finish the season ranked among the leaders in hits, home runs, runs batted in, batting average, runs scored and stolen bases.[19] He was unanimously selected the "Rookie of the Year", becoming the second player after Frank Robinson to receive a unanimous vote. He was also selected the "Most Valuable Giant" in a poll conducted by the San Francisco Examiner.[19] On September 28, 1958, the publication presented him a plaque for this recognition.

After the season concluded, Cepeda used his salary to buy a new house for his mother. That year he won the LBPPR batting title with an average of .362, while Santurce won the league's championship.[20]

The Giants offered him a $12,000 contract, which he refused, asking for $20,000. After negotiations, the parties settled on $17,000.

In 1959, Cepeda reported to spring training with more confidence than the year before. He opened the season hitting in nine straight games, with 15 hits in his first 35 at-bats.[21] After experiencing a brief slump during the latter half of May, Cepeda recovered, hitting 12 home runs by June 4, 1959. He was selected as a starter in both All-Star games during this season.[22] Cepeda was briefly moved to third base to open a spot for Willie McCovey in the starting lineup, but was moved to the outfield after committing errors in the position.[23] He hit six home runs between August and September. The Giants remained in the race for the National League's pennant during the latter part of the season, but were eliminated from competition after losing a series against the Dodgers, eventually finishing third. Cepeda led the team in batting average (.317) and RBIs (105).[21]

Cepeda subsequently moved from Daly City to Sunset District, seeking a house within the city. In 1960, the Giants moved him back to first base after McCovey was sent to the minor leagues. Cepeda finished with an average of .297, with 24 home runs and 96 RBI.[24] He moved twice this year, first to 19th and Pacheco and then to 48th and Pacheco, where he and McCovey bought a building next to the ocean. On December 3, 1960, Cepeda married Annie Pino in a ceremony that took place in a small church of San Juan.[25] This was followed by a large reception at the San Juan Hilton hotel. After the ceremonies, the couple moved to the building at 48th and Pacheco.

In 1961, Cepeda had what he considers the best statistics of his career. He led the league in RBIs (142), home runs (46) and home run average (7.9).[26] He was once again selected to play in the All-Star Game starting lineup. The Giants led the National League in runs scored, while the pitching staff had a collective earned run average of 3.77. The team finished in third place in the National League. Cepeda finished second in the Most Valuable Player voting, after Frank Robinson.[26] After the season, Cepeda who at the moment was earning $30,000, asked for a $20,000 raise based on his performance. The general manager believed that he was making too much money for a fourth-year player, and the negotiations continued until a final salary of $46,000 was settled on.[26] The 1962 Giants were an improved team. They constantly rivaled the Dodgers for the league lead. Several players from the team, including Cepeda, participated in the All-Star Games. Finishing tied with the Dodgers, the Giants played against them in a playoff series to determine the National League's champion. They won the best of three series 2–1.[27] The team advanced to the World Series to face the New York Yankees. New York won in a seven-game series. Cepeda batted .306, with 35 home runs and 114 RBIs.[27] In 1961 and 1962, Cepeda had strong years; however, he had serious problems with the team's manager Alvin Dark, to the point of almost skipping some games.[28] Among the things that Dark did after being named manager was to order the Latin American players to stop speaking Spanish in the clubhouse. Cepeda immediately confronted him; after this Dark avoided summoning the Hispanic players to any team meeting.[29]

During the winter, Cepeda returned to the LBPPR, where he suffered a knee injury while training. In 1963, he played the entire MLB season with the injury, not informing the Giants out of concern for his spot in the roster.[30] He was in constant pain, but was in the race for a batting title along with Roberto Clemente, Dick Groat and Tommy Davis, eventually finishing fifth. His batting average was .316, with 34 home runs and 97 RBIs.[30] In 1964, San Francisco remained in the pennant race until the last week, when the St Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Mets to secure it. Cepeda led the team in batting average with .304 and a slugging percentage of .539.[31] Cepeda attended the 1965 spring training, having limited participation. One of his friends, who was from Mexico brought in a jar with alcohol and cannabis to reduce the pain, noting that it was an "old Mexican remedy".[32] Noticing this a club house employee offered to bring him a cannabis "joint", which he accepted. After this event, he consumed the drug regularly in order to "relax".[32] After experiencing swelling in the knee during the first games of the season, a group of doctors recommended him to stop playing,[27] however, Cepeda refused to do so since baseball was his main source of income. He received treatment from Gene Sollovief, a Russian doctor who implemented a weight and exercise regime.[27] He returned to action, but only had 34 at-bats with an average of .176 and only one home run<mlb.com(http://m.mlb.com/player/112157/orlando-cepeda)>. He returned to Puerto Rico undergoing further physical therapy. In the off-season Cepeda also bought a house in Diamond Heights while his wife was pregnant with his first son, Orlando Jr. After recovering from the injury he attended 1966 spring training, however he wasn't placed in the team's starting lineup. In the middle of a series Cepeda was informed that he had been traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Ray Sadecki.

St Louis Cardinals (1966–1968)

The Giants were playing a series against the Cardinals in St. Louis, so Cepeda joined the team in the city. Bob Howsam, the team's general manager, was interested in him because the team had offensive problems.[33] After the trade, the team granted him a new contract for $53,000.[34] With the help of Harry Caray, the Cardinals' announcer, Cepeda moved to a house in Olivette, Missouri. The team finished in sixth place, with a record of 83–79.[35] He finished his first season with the Cardinals playing 123 games, with an average of .303 and was named the National League Comeback Player of the Year.[36]

In 1967, the Cardinals entered the season with analysts giving them odds of 12–1 of winning the pennant. Cepeda began the season strongly, at one point driving in seven runs in a single game.[37] The team promoted offensive performance by fining any player who left teammates on base a dollar; the money was used to pay for the postseason party.[37] The Cardinals contended in the early league standings with the Chicago Cubs, but the team took control of the National League pennant race as the season progressed. Cepeda's offense remained stable, finishing June as the league's leader in doubles.[38] He played in his seventh All-Star Game, which the National League won 2–1. Cepeda was named NL Player of the Month for the only time in his career in August, when he batted .352, with 5 HR and 25 RBI. The Cardinals won the pennant by 10​12 games (101-60), and defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games to win the World Series. He concluded the season hitting .325, 21 game-winning hits and with a league-leading 111 RBIs. Cepeda was named the National League Most Valuable Player. He was the second National League player, after Carl Hubbell to win the award unanimously. He, Albert Pujols, Frank Robinson, and Mike Trout are also the only players in baseball history to win Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards unanimously. He was the first Latin player to win the home run and RBI titles.

In 1968, the Cardinals were considered the strongest team in the majors.[39] The Cardinals won the pennant for a second straight year, this time with a nine-game lead. The Detroit Tigers won the American League pennant by twelve games. Cepeda, who had a low average in the 1967 World Series, hit a home run that gave the Cardinals a two games to one lead. The Tigers, however, won three of the next four games, to win their first World Series since 1945. This season was called the "Year of the Pitcher", because of the overwhelming dominance pitching had over offense in 1968. Cepeda had his worst statistical year of his career as a regular player, finishing with an average of .248 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs,[40] scoring career-lows in all three statistics.[40] In March 1969, the Cardinals traded him to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Joe Torre.

Late career

The trade took Cepeda by surprise. After learning that his new team was the Braves, he considered retirement, but decided against after discussing it with his wife.[41] He moved to the city with uncertainty, wondering if the effect of the Jim Crow laws was still present, but his concerns disappeared once they settled.[42] Cepeda attended the 1969 spring training on West Palm Beach, being welcomed to the team by Hank Aaron.[43] This marked the first time that the league's postseason had best-of-five-game playoffs. The Braves won the National League West with a record of 93–69, before losing to the New York Mets in the playoffs. Cepeda had a season average of .257 with 22 home runs and 88 RBIs.

In 1970, Rico Carty of the Braves led the league in average, while Cepeda and Aaron drove in more than a hundred runs.[44] However, the team's pitching was ineffective and the team finished in fourth place in the division.[44] Cepeda finished with an average of .305, 34 home runs and 111 RBIs. In 1971, Cepeda began the season with a solid offensive, hitting 10 home runs before May was over. However, he re-injured one of his knees in his house. The Braves' physician administered a shot, but that proved ineffective. Cepeda was attended to by Dr. Funk, the Atlanta Falcons' orthopedicist. After running tests and examining X-rays, he determined that the injury was serious. Because of this, Cepeda began playing part-time. His batting average declined, and he hit only five more home runs on the season.[45] In September he traveled to New York where he underwent surgery, returning to Puerto Rico to recover during the winter. In 1972, Cepeda began playing while still feeling pain. On May 16, 1972, he hit two home runs against Houston.[45] During this time Paul Richards had been replaced by Eddie Robinson as the team general manager. Robinson didn't assign treatment for Cepeda's leg, eventually deciding to trade him.[45]

In July, Cepeda was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Denny McLain. After playing for a week, he was hospitalized and underwent a second surgery on his injured knee.[46] Cepeda remained in Oakland three months before returning to Puerto Rico. Upon arriving he received a telegram from Charlie Finley, the Athletics' owner, telling him that if he didn't respond within three days he would be released from his contract. Cepeda decided not to call, intending to retire from baseball.[46] In 1973, the American League established the designated hitter role, hoping to improve attendance. The Boston Red Sox contacted him, telling him that his role with the team only required batting. Cepeda became the first player to sign a contract to exclusively play as a designated hitter.[46] His first hit with the team was a walk-off home run to beat the New York Yankees. Cepeda had an average of .289 with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs in 550 at bats. He was also named Designated Hitter of the Year. Cepeda's twentieth home run established a major league record, making him the first player to hit twenty or more home runs with four different teams.[47] He went to Puerto Rico and prepared to play in the 1974 season, but the team decided to release him and Luis Aparicio during spring training. After briefly playing in Mexico, he was offered a contract by the Kansas City Royals. In his last season, Cepeda had 107 at bats, batting .215 with one home run.

Cepeda was the second player from Puerto Rico to win a triple crown in Minor League Baseball, doing so in 1956, with a batting average of .355, 26 home runs, and 112 RBIs. He was selected as an All-Star seven times, appearing in eleven games (1959–64, 1967). He was the first Puerto Rican to start in an All Star Game and to be selected in two positions, serving as a first baseman and left fielder. His lifetime numbers in the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League are .325 batting average (fifth place), 89 home runs, 340 runs batted in and .544 slugging (second place and only Puerto Rican with .500+). He batted .300+ eleven times, the most in league history.


Orlando Cepeda All Star Parade 2008
Cepeda in 2008

Divorce, second marriage, conviction and conversion

Cepeda tried a comeback in the LBPPR, but noticed that his body couldn't perform well, opting to retire instead. After retiring, he began experiencing several personal problems. He and Pino divorced in 1973, Cepeda had other relationships outside of wedlock, from which one son, Carl Cepeda, was born.[48] After the couple separated, he met Nydia Fernandez, who was from Carolina, Puerto Rico. The couple married in 1975, fathering two children, Malcom and Ali.[49]

Later that year, Cepeda traveled to Colombia to direct a baseball clinic, and once there, he met a group of drug dealers who convinced him to put bags containing five pounds of cannabis in two boxes containing hand-made clothing. Cepeda had continued to use cannabis since 1965.[50] He returned to Puerto Rico, waiting ten days before contacting the airport to see if the boxes had arrived. When Cepeda arrived to collect his cargo, he was told that they could not be released, since the shipping cost had not been covered. At that point, two police officers (who were aware of the packages' contents) instructed one of the air freight employees to give Cepeda the boxes with or without payment.[51] An airport employee delivered the boxes to Cepeda's car, and once Cepeda returned to his vehicle, he was arrested and charged with drug possession.[51]

While on trial for that charge, Cepeda was arrested a second time, after a man alleged that Cepeda had pointed a gun at him. A third case was brought by Pino, seeking an increase in alimony and child support payments.[52] In 1978, after three days at trial, Cepeda was declared guilty of the drug possession charges and sentenced to five years of imprisonment. Cepeda served ten months in jail time and the balance of his sentence on probation. Following his release, a district attorney in Puerto Rico told the prison's warden that if Cepeda returned the mafia would likely attempt to kill him.[53] leading to Cepeda's assignment to a "halfway house" in Philadelphia.

After completing that program, Cepeda coached a LBPPR team in Bayamón, Puerto Rico and was later hired as a scout by the Chicago White Sox. In 1981, the team assigned him to work as a roving instructor with one of their Minor League Baseball club in Lynn, Massachusetts. Roland Hemond released him later that year, and he briefly worked as the Crabbers' coach.[54]

Cepeda began practicing Nichiren Buddhism as a member of the Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International in 1983.[55] One year later, he moved to Los Angeles, renting an apartment in Burbank. During this timeframe, his relationship with Fernandez deteriorated. She eventually left the house and returned to Puerto Rico with Malcom and Ali and filed a divorce suit.[56] A friend introduced Cepeda to Mirian Ortiz, whom he eventually married.

Return to the Giants and community work

In 1987, Max Shapiro asked him to substitute for McCovey in a "fantasy baseball camp" in San Francisco, and although reluctuant at first, he accepted.[57] Here he met and befriended publisher Laurence Hyman, who introduced Cepeda to San Francisco Giants' staff members and encouraged him to write to Al Rosen.[58] After initially receiving no response, eventually Patrick J. Gallagher called to tell Cepeda that Rosen wanted to hire him as a scout. Cepeda worked in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and other Latin American countries during his first year, after which the Giants placed him on full-time payroll.[59] Cepeda later worked as a "goodwill ambassador" for the Giants, attending activities in schools, hospitals and community centers,[60] and he represented the Giants in programs aimed at Latin American communities. He also joined Sōka Gakkai International and participated in activities for the Puerto Rican communities in New York.[61]

Cepeda threw the honorary first pitch for the third game of the 1989 National League Championship Series, and also for a regular season game between the Giants and Dodgers on September 17, 1997, his 60th birthday.[62] Cepeda has a place at the new Giants ballpark that opened in 2000. At Oracle Park he has his own concessions stand called "Orlando's". In their offering is the "Caribbean Cha Cha Bowl". In 2006, the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) approved a chapter for Puerto Rico, the first in Latin America, and named the chapter in honor of Cepeda. On September 16, 2017, the day before his 80th birthday, he attended a birthday celebration at Oracle Park where the Giants honored him, including distributing statuettes of him to the first 20,000 fans at the game.[63]

Induction to Hall of Fame

SFGiants 30
Orlando Cepeda's number 30 was retired by the San Francisco Giants in 1999.

By the early 1990s, when his time of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame was beginning to run out, many Puerto Ricans, celebrities and ordinary citizens alike, began to campaign for his induction. Some international celebrities and former teammates also joined in the campaign. In 1994, his last year of eligibility by voting, he came within seven votes of being elected. In 1999, he was elected by the Hall's Veterans Committee, joining Roberto Clemente as the only other Puerto Rican in Cooperstown. He has since been joined by Roberto Alomar, Iván Rodríguez and Edgar Martínez.

Cepeda belongs to fourteen halls of fame, the most by any Puerto Rican athlete: Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (1990),[64] Puerto Rico Baseball Hall of Fame (1991), Laredo Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame (1995), Santurce Hall of Fame (1997), Puerto Rico Sports Hall of Fame (1993),[65] Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown (1999), Missouri Sports Hall of Fame (2000),[66] Guayama Hall of Fame (2000), Ponce Hall of Fame (2001), Cataño Hall of Fame (2002), Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum (2002), African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame (2007).[67][68] San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame (2008) and Latinoamerican Baseball Hall of Fame (2010).


Cepeda was hospitalized in February 2018 after a fall. Cepeda suffered what was called a “cardiac episode and head injury” and a stroke after falling in a parking lot at the Rancho Solano Golf Course complex in Fairfield, California. He was hospitalized for several months before being released.[69]

Humanitarian and additional recognitions

Cepeda has been recognized nationally for his humanitarian efforts as an ambassador for baseball. He served as an honorary spokesman for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

In 2001, he won the Ernie Banks Positive Image Lifetime Achievement Award. The citation for the award reads, in part, "The legacy he is leaving is an impressive one indeed. His commitment to community service includes credentials for a Humanitarian Hall of Fame. He is now recognized nationally for his humanitarian efforts as an ambassador for baseball and the San Francisco Giants." It goes on to list many of his national and community contributions, including his regular visits to inner-city schools throughout the country in conjunction with HOPE: Helping Other People Excel. "Each December, Orlando tours as part of the Giants Christmas Caravan visiting hospitals, schools and youth groups including the UC San Francisco Medical Center pediatric cancer ward. He is a participant in Athletes Against AIDS. He is also a public speaker for the Omega Boys and Girls Club, counseling at-risk children in the San Francisco community. He is revered in the local community and a local band has a song that celebrates him.[70]

The Giants retired Orlando Cepeda's number 30. It hangs on the facing of the upper deck in the left field corner of Oracle Park. On September 6, 2008, the Giants unveiled a statue of Cepeda next to the installation.[71] He is the fifth Giant to be honored with a statue; the other players are Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, and Gaylord Perry.[71][72]

In a 1976 Esquire magazine article, sportswriter Harry Stein published an "All Time All-Star Argument Starter", consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Cepeda, a Puerto Rican, was the first baseman on Stein's Latin team. In September 2008, the San Francisco Giants added a life size bronze statue on the 4th corner of the stadium to honor Orlando Cepeda as one of the greatest Giants of all time, joining other Hall of Fame players on the other three corners of the stadium. These include Willie Mays, Juan Marichal and Willie McCovey. Orlando Cepeda continues to be a part of the Giants front office staff and is often involved with the team's spring training activities.

He is also recognized at Ponce's Parque de los Ponceños Ilustres in the area of sports.[73]

See also


  1. ^ Second Deadball Era
  2. ^ a b Fagen et al., p. 5
  3. ^ Fagen et al., p. 3
  4. ^ Fagen et al., p. 10
  5. ^ Cope, Myron (16 May 1966). "The Babe Cobb Of Puerto Rico". Sports Illustrated. 24 (20). Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  6. ^ Fagen et al., p. 14
  7. ^ Fagen et al., p. 15
  8. ^ Fagen et al., p. 6
  9. ^ Fagen et al., p. 7-8
  10. ^ Fagen et al., p. 23
  11. ^ Fagen et al., p. 25
  12. ^ Fagen et al., p. 27
  13. ^ a b Fagen et al., p. 28-29
  14. ^ "Joc Pederson homers again but Dodgers lose to Cardinals, 3-1". Los Angeles Times. May 31, 2015.
  15. ^ "Dodgers Dugout: Split decision". Los Angeles Times. June 1, 2015.
  16. ^ Fagen et al., p. 43
  17. ^ Fagen et al., p. 50
  18. ^ Fagen et al., p. 53
  19. ^ a b Fagen et al., p. 57
  20. ^ Fagen et al., p. 61
  21. ^ a b Fagen et al., p. 67
  22. ^ Fagen et al., p. 66
  23. ^ Fagen et al., p. 69
  24. ^ Fagen et al., p. 71
  25. ^ Fagen et al., p. 87
  26. ^ a b c Fagen et al., p. 78
  27. ^ a b c d Fagen et al., p. 81-82
  28. ^ Fagen et al., p. 74
  29. ^ Fagen et al., p. 75
  30. ^ a b Fagen et al., p. 89
  31. ^ Fagen et al., p. 94
  32. ^ a b Fagen et al., p. 95
  33. ^ Fagen et al., p.106
  34. ^ Fagen et al., p.102
  35. ^ Fagen et al., p.110
  36. ^ Fagen et al., p.109
  37. ^ a b Fagen et al., p.130
  38. ^ Fagen et al., p.132
  39. ^ Fagen et al., p.144
  40. ^ a b Fagen et al., p.152
  41. ^ Fagen et al., p.156
  42. ^ Fagen et al., p.160
  43. ^ Fagen et al., p.157
  44. ^ a b Fagen et al., p.161
  45. ^ a b c Fagen et al., p.162
  46. ^ a b c Fagen et al., p.163
  47. ^ Fagen et al., p.164
  48. ^ Fagen et al., p.168
  49. ^ Fagen et al., p.169
  50. ^ Fagen et al., p.170
  51. ^ a b Fagen et al., p.171
  52. ^ Fagen et al., p.173
  53. ^ Fagen et al., p.182
  54. ^ Fagen et al., p.184
  55. ^ Fagen et al., p.190
  56. ^ Fagen et al., p.186
  57. ^ Fagen et al., p.197
  58. ^ Fagen et al., p.198
  59. ^ Fagen et al., p.199
  60. ^ Fagen et al., p.200
  61. ^ Fagen et al., p.216
  62. ^ Fagen et al., p.222
  63. ^ refer to game transcript
  64. ^ "Inductees: Orlando Cepeda". Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
  65. ^ Fagen et al., p.209
  66. ^ "Inductee Detail: Orlando Cepeda". Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
  67. ^ "Hall of Fame: Orlando Cepeda". Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum. Archived from the original on 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
  68. ^ "Debra Gore-Mann to Be Inducted in African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame Friday". University of San Francisco Athletic. 2007-02-08. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
  69. ^ Shea, John. "Orlando Cepeda attends first Giants game since traumatic fall: it's 'like coming home'". Sfgate.com. Hearst. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  70. ^ "Ernie Banks Positive Image Lifetime Achievement Award". 2001. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
  71. ^ a b "Gigantes honran a Orlando Cepeda con estatua de bronce". Primera Hora (in Spanish). 2008-09-06. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
  72. ^ http://m.mlb.com/news/article/195435396/gaylord-perry-gets-statue-at-giants-ballpark/
  73. ^ Sports. TravelPonce.com Retrieved 18 April 2013.


  • My Ups and Downs in Baseball by Orlando Cepeda with Charles Einstein. Putnam (1968; 2000).
  • High and Inside: Orlando Cepeda's Story by Orlando Cepeda with Mary Kelly. Hardwood Press (1984).
  • Baby Bull: From Hardball to Hard Time and Back by Orlando Cepeda with Herb Fagen. Taylor Trade Publishing (1998).
  • The Orlando Cepeda Story by Bruce Markusen. Pinata Books (2001).

External links

Preceded by
Jim Ray Hart
Major League Player of the Month
August 1967
Succeeded by
Don Drysdale
1958 San Francisco Giants season

The 1958 San Francisco Giants season was the franchise's inaugural season in San Francisco, California and 76th season overall. The Giants' home ballpark was Seals Stadium. The team had a record of 80–74 finishing in third place in the National League standings, twelve games behind the NL Champion Milwaukee Braves.

Of the broadcast team, Russ Hodges left his former broadcasting partners in New York and for that season was joined on both KTVU and KSFO by Lon Simmons.

1961 San Francisco Giants season

The 1961 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 79th year in Major League Baseball, their 4th year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their second at Candlestick Park. The team finished in third place in the National League with an 85-69 record, eight games behind the NL Champion Cincinnati Reds. The Giants were managed by Alvin Dark.

1963 San Francisco Giants season

The 1963 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 81st year in Major League Baseball, their sixth year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their fourth at Candlestick Park. The team finished in third place in the National League with an 88-74 record, 11 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1964 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1964 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 35th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 7, 1964, at Shea Stadium in New York City, New York, home of the New York Mets of the National League. The game was a 7–4 victory for the NL. Johnny Callison hit a walk-off home run, the most recent MLB All-Star game to end in such a fashion.

1964 San Francisco Giants season

The 1964 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 82nd year in Major League Baseball, their seventh year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their fifth at Candlestick Park. The team finished in fourth place, as a result of their 90–72 record, placing them three games behind the National League and World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

1966 San Francisco Giants season

The 1966 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 84th year in Major League Baseball, their ninth year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their seventh at Candlestick Park. The Giants finished second in the National League with a record of 93 wins and 68 losses, a game-and-a-half behind their arch-rivals, the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

1966 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1966 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 85th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 75th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 83–79 during the season and finished sixth in the National League, 12 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1967 Major League Baseball season

The 1967 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 10 to October 12, 1967. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox four games to three in the World Series, which was the first World Series appearance for the Red Sox in 21 years. Following the season, the Kansas City Athletics relocated to Oakland.

1967 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1967 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 86th season in St. Louis, Missouri, its 76th season in the National League, and its first full season at Busch Memorial Stadium. Gussie Busch hired former outfielder Stan Musial as general manager before the season. Featuring four future Hall of Famers in Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton and Orlando Cepeda, "El Birdos" went 101–60 during the season and won the NL pennant by 10½ games over the San Francisco Giants. They went on to win the 1967 World Series in seven games over the Boston Red Sox.

1968 World Series

The 1968 World Series featured the American League champion Detroit Tigers against the National League champion (and defending World Series champion) St. Louis Cardinals, with the Tigers winning in seven games for their first championship since 1945, and the third in their history.

The Tigers came back from a 3–1 deficit to win three in a row, largely on the arm of MVP Mickey Lolich, who as of 2019 remains the last pitcher to earn three complete-game victories in a single World Series. (The three World Series wins were duplicated by Randy Johnson in 2001, but Johnson started only two of his games.) In his third appearance in the Series, Lolich had to pitch after only two days' rest in the deciding Game 7, because regular-season 31-game winner Denny McLain was moved up to Game 6 – also on two days' rest. In Game 5, the Tigers' hopes for the title would have been very much in jeopardy had Bill Freehan not tagged out Lou Brock in a home plate collision, on a perfect throw from left fielder Willie Horton, when Brock elected not to slide and went in standing up.

The 1968 season was tagged "The Year of the Pitcher", and the Series featured dominant performances from Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson, MVP of the 1964 and 1967 World Series. Gibson came into the World Series with a regular-season earned run average (ERA) of just 1.12, a modern era record, and he pitched complete games in Games 1, 4, and 7. He was the winning pitcher in Games 1 and 4. In Game 1, he threw a shutout, striking out a Series record of 17 batters, besting Sandy Koufax's 1963 record by two. The 17 strikeouts still stands as the World Series record today. In Game 4, a solo home run by Jim Northrup was the only offense the Tigers were able to muster, as Gibson struck out ten batters. In Game 7, Gibson was defeated by series MVP Lolich, allowing three runs on four straight hits in the decisive seventh inning, although the key play was a Northrup triple that was seemingly misplayed by center fielder Curt Flood and could have been the third out with no runs scoring.

The World Series saw the Cardinals lose a Game 7 for the first time in their history. The Tigers were the third team to come back from a three-games-to-one deficit to win a best-of-seven World Series, the first two being the 1925 Pirates and the 1958 Yankees. Since then, the 1979 Pirates, the 1985 Royals, and the 2016 Cubs accomplished this feat.

Detroit manager Mayo Smith received some notoriety for moving outfielder Mickey Stanley to shortstop for the 1968 World Series, which has been called one of the gutsiest coaching moves in sports history by multiple sources. Stanley, who replaced the superior fielding but much weaker hitting Ray Oyler, would make two errors in the Series, neither of which led to a run.

This was also the final World Series played prior to Major League Baseball's 1969 expansion, which coincided with the introduction of divisional play and the League Championship Series.

All seven games of NBC's TV coverage were preserved on black-and-white kinescopes by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and circulate among collectors. Games 1 and 5 have been commercially released; these broadcasts, and that of Game 7, were frequently shown on CSN (Classic Sports Network) and ESPN Classic in the 1990s and 2000s.

1969 Atlanta Braves season

The 1969 Atlanta Braves season was the fourth in Atlanta and the 99th overall season of the franchise. The National League had been split into two divisions before the season, with the Braves somewhat incongruously being assigned to the National League West. The Braves finished with a record of 93–69, winning the first ever NL West division title by three games over the San Francisco Giants.

After the season, the Braves played in the first-ever inter-divisional National League Championship Series. They went on to lose the NLCS to the eventual World Champion New York Mets, three games to none.

1969 National League Championship Series

The 1969 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five match-up between the East Division champion New York Mets and the West Division champion Atlanta Braves. The Mets defeated the Braves three games to none. They did not sweep a playoff series again until 2006 as they swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series in three games.

At that time, the New York Mets became the fastest expansion team to win a National League Pennant with only eight years of existence. Twenty-eight years later, in 1997, the Florida Marlins would break that record by reaching and winning the World Series with only five years of existence. Four years after the Marlins, the Arizona Diamondbacks would break that by reaching and winning the World Series in just their fourth year.

Nolan Ryan played for the Mets at the time, but he did not play until Game 3, which was the first playoff victory of his career.

The Braves finally avenged their 1969 loss 30 years later, by beating the Mets in that year's NLCS four games to two.

1972 Atlanta Braves season

The 1972 Atlanta Braves season was the seventh season in Atlanta along with the 102nd season as a franchise overall.

1973 Boston Red Sox season

The 1973 Boston Red Sox season was the 73rd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses, eight games behind the Baltimore Orioles.

1974 Kansas City Royals season

The 1974 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing fifth in the American League West with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses.

1999 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1999 followed the system in use since 1995. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected three: George Brett, Nolan Ryan, and Robin Yount. The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected four people from multiple classified ballots: Orlando Cepeda, Nestor Chylak, Frank Selee, and Joe Williams.

Brett, Ryan, and Yount—the BBWAA class of 1999—were all newly eligible, as they all played their last games in 1993. It was the first time the writers elected more than two first-ballot candidates since the inaugural class of 1936 (five).

Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, were held July 25 with George Grande as emcee.

Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame was founded in the Mission District in San Francisco, California on October 24, 1998, and Incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit organization on June 23, 1999 in Sacramento, California by Gabriel "Tito" Avila, Jr. a former Semi-pro, Sandlot, High School, College player and a Vietnam Era Veteran from New York City and San Francisco resident who wanted to honor the greatest Hispanic Baseball position players of all time. The HHBMHOF is International and dedicated to recognizing the contributions made to baseball by Hispanic players. Since its inception, the HHBMHOF has inducted (67) players, coaches, broadcasters, Negro Leagues Hispanic players, MLB Scorers, and Pioneer Executives. Founding members include Orlando Cepeda, Orlando Mercado and Tito 23 Fuentes.

The HHBMHOF also honors its (16) Pioneers beginning with Esteban Bellan of the Troy Haymakers a team for which he played for in (1869) of the (American Association 1860-1872) (National Amateur Association 1860-1870) based in Lasingburgh, New York post Major League Baseball from Cuba, Luis Castro of the Philadelphia Athletics from Colombia in (1902). Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida of the Cincinnati Reds in (1911) from Cuba. Alfredo Cabrera of the St. Louis Cardinals in (1913) from Spain, Mel Almada of the Boston Red Sox in (1933) from Mexico, Alejandro Carrasquel of the Washington Senators in (1939) from Venezuela, Hiram Bithorn of the Chicago Cubs in (1942) from Puerto Rico, Humberto Robinson of the Milwaukee Braves from Panama in (1955), Ossie Virgil of the New York Giants in (1956) from the Dominican Republic, Dennis Martinez of the Baltimore Orioles from Nicaragua in (1976), Gerald Young of the Houston Astros in (1987) from Honduras, and Eloy "Buck" Canel, American Spanish Broadcaster of Major League Baseball and Ford Frick Award Winner (NBHOF) for broadcasting internationally spreading baseball to the radios of Latin America for four decades beginning in the (1940's). He also broadcast for both the New York Mets and New York Yankees from Argentina. Jose Mendez and Esteban Torriente Negro Leagues, Alex Pompez Executive Pioneer. Pedro Sierra, Former Major League Pitcher with the Washington Senators and the Minnesota Twins. The last Hispanic player to have signed a contract with the Negro Leagues as a Baseball player.

In 2007 the HHBMHOF established its Pioneer Award to those players or baseball aficionados who have set the example as true pioneers of the sport. To date (18) Pioneers have received that honor. Felipe Alou, San Francisco Giants on June 23, 2002 at Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco, California, Matty Alou, on June 23, 2002 at Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco, California. Jesus Alou, Houston Astros, on September 23, 2008, Houston, Texas. Juan Berenguer, Minnesota Twins on June 23, 2013 at Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan. Orlando Cepeda, San Francisco Giants on June 23, 2002, San Francisco, California. Dave Garcia, San Diego Padres, Ossie Guillen, Chicago White Sox on June 2, 2006 at US Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois. Rudy Jaramillo, Texas Rangers on September 20, 2008 at Rangers Ball Park at Arlington, Texas. Juan Marichal, San Francisco Giants on June 23, 2002, San Francisco, California. Minnie Minoso, Chicago White Sox on at US Cellular Field, Chicago Iiinois. Chicago White Sox, Jose Pagan, San Francisco Giants on June 23, 2002, San Francisco, California. Luis Polonia, New York Yankees, Newark, New Jersey. Ivan 'Pudge" Rodriguez, Texas Rangers, on August 2, 2012 at Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan. Arturo Santo Domingo, Major League Baseball, Diego Segui, Oakland Athletics on July 6, 2012 at the Bartle Hall Convention Center, Kansas City, Missouri. Pedro Sierra, Negro Leagues, Major League Baseball, Valmy Thomas, San Francisco Giants on June 23, 2002, San Francisco, California. Jose Uribe, San Francisco Giants on June 23, 2002, San Francisco, California.

Luis Aparicio was inducted into the HHBMHOF at the 73rd Annual All Star Game Fan Fest at the Moscone East Center, San Francisco, California. On December 27, 2007 Mr. Millito Navarro (101 years old) was inducted into the HHBMHOF at the Pancho Coimbre Museum in Ponce, Puerto Rico. This was the HHBMHOF first induction outside the Continental United States.

The first Award of Merit was awarded on July 10, 1998 to Juan Navarette, Mexican Baseball Hall of Famer at the McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, California. Award of Merit winners Rolando Arojo, Carlos Baerga, Frank Castillo, Coco Crisp, Juan Diaz, Nomar Garciaparra, Rich Garces, Pedro Matinez, Jose Offerman,

Manny Ramirez, Freddy Sanchez, Rey Sanchez, Ugueth Urbina. On May 26, 2000 the San Francisco Giants recognize the HHBMHOF. On June 12, 2000 HHBMHOF President Mr. Tito Avila was invited as a guest of Spanish Language Radio Station (Radio WADO 1280 am) at the old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx New York during a New York Yankees home game broadcast. On June 28, 2000 The Oakland Athletics recognized HHBMHOF. On July 16, 2000 the HHBMHOF participated in Aids walk at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California.

On September 10, 2000 the Oakland City Council presented a city proclamation to the HHBMHOF.

On April 23, 2001 Sammy Sosa donated his Chicago Cubs Home Jersey to the HHBMHOF at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California. On June 20, 2001 Juan Marichal donated his home jersey on Juan Marichal day to the HHBMHOF at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California. On August 15, 2001 the Orlando Cepeda Lifetime achievement award was presented at the Delancey street Restaurant at the Embarcadero to Tony Perez, Marlins Manager of the Florida Marlins. On the same evening at Pacific Bell Park Mr. Rafael Felo Ramirez, Florida Marlins American Spanish Language Broadcaster and Mr. Tony Perez were both inducted into the HHBMHOF. On July 7, 2001 Rod Carew Donated his Minnesota Twins Road Jersey to the HHBMHOF at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California. On August 31, 2001 Andres Galaraga donated his San Francisco Giants Black jersey to the HHBMHOF at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California. On September 21, 2001 the HHBMHOF conducts it first exhibition at the Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland,California.

The initial HHBMHOF inductees were inducted at a banquet on February 23, 2002, at the Grand Hyatt Union Square Hotel, San Francisco, California were Orlando Cepeda, Tito 23 Fuentes and Ted Williams.On April 13, 2002 HHBM HOF President Tito Avila throws out first pitch ever at a Minor League baseball game between the Sacramento Rivercats and the Nashville Sounds at Raley Field, Sacramento, California. On June 23, 2002. The San Francisco Giants held Latin Pioneer Day at AT&T Park,San Francisco. HHBMHOF Founder and President Tito Avila presented the Pioneer Awards to Felipe Alou, Matty Alou, Orlando Cepeda, Tito 23 Fuentes, Jose Pagan, Valmy Thomas and Jose Uribe. On July 23, 2002 Luis Tiant was inducted into the HHBMHOF at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts. On that evening the Award of Merit was present to the Boston Red Sox Hispanic players. On August 7 thru September 2, 2002 the HHBMHOF exhibited at the California Exposition (Cal Expo) in Sacramento, California the state capitol.

On August 11, 2002 Minnie Minoso was inducted into the HHBMHOF at Comisky Park, Chicago, Illinois. On September 13, 2002 Drayton McLane, Jr. Chairman and CEO of the Houston Astros assisted in the induction ceremony of Jose (Cheo) Cruz and Rene Cardenas American Spanish Language Broadcaster of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas.

On August 8–10, 2003 HHBMHOF launched their first ever National exhibition tour at Qualcom Stadium, San Diego, California as part of the "Fiesta Los Compadres" annual celebration. On August 23, 2003 the HHBMHOF Inducted Jaime Jarrin, Manny Mota and Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California. On September 9, 2003 Edgar Martinez was inducted into the HHBMHOF at Safeco Field, Seattle Washington and on that evening Edgar Martinez hit a Home Run and donated his bat to the HHBMHOF. On April 30, 2004 Tony Taylor of the Philadelphia Phillies was inducted into the HHBMHOF at the Delancey Street Restaurant, San Francisco, California. On May 22, 2004 Alfredo Griffin and Orlando Mercado of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were inducted into the HHBMHOF at Angels Park, Anaheim, California. On September 25, 2004 Amaury PI-Gonzalez, American Spanish Language Broadcaster (Bay Area) for the San Francisco Giants was inducted into the HHBMHOF at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California as an Oakland Athletics HHBMHOF Hall of Famer trailblazer in Major League Baseball and in the United States.

On May 21, 2005 The HHBMHOF was invited to participate at the Juan Marichal Statue unveiling at King Street, San Francisco, California. In 2005, the World Series-winning manager, then of the Chicago White Sox, Ozzie Guillén, was honored at US Cellular Field, Chicago with the HHBMHOF Pioneer Award for being the first Hispanic foreign-born to win the World Series that year, against the Houston Astros in (4) straight games. The Latino Legends Team was an All-time All-star baseball team selected in 2005 to honor the history of Latin American players in Major League Baseball. On August 5, 2005 Sandy Alomar, Sr., and Billy Berroa, American Spanish Language Broadcaster was inducted into the HHBMHOF at Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York. On that Evening Omar Minaya New York Mets, General Manager was presented the Executive of the Year award. On September 5, 2005 the HHBMHOF participates in its first Fiesta Gigantes Celebration at SBC Park San Francisco, California.

On August 30, 2006 Bert Campaneris was inducted into the HHBMHOF at the McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, California. On April 10, 2006 Al Lopez was inducted into the HHBMHOF at Tropicana Field, Tampa, Florida. On April 11, 2007 Tony Larussa, Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, was inducted into the HHBMHOF at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California. In April 2007, the HHBMHOF was given a Citation by the New York State Senate in Albany, New York. On Saturday, June 23, 2007, former Giant Omar Vizquel, former Giant Matty Alou, and former New York Yankee Héctor López were inducted into the HHBMHOF during the second game of the inter-league series at a home-plate ceremony at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California before a crowd of 43,000 fans. On that Evening the HHBMHOF attended a reunion dinner of the (1962) New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants at the Joe DiMaggio Restaurant located at North Beach, San Francisco, California. The HHBMHOF was invited to showcase the "Latino Legends" team and their memorabilia at the MLB 78th Annual 2007 All-Star Game Fan Fest on July 6, 2007 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. On July 9, 2007 Luis Aparicio of the Chicago White Sox was inducted into the HHBMHOF at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, California. HHBMHOF Recognition award New York State Citation, June 8, 2007 HHBMHOF Recognition by US. House of Representatives, June 8, 2007 Recognition by New York State Senate, June 8, 2007 Recognition Proclamation City of New York, June 8, 2007 Recognition by the New York City Council.

On July 11, 2008 the HHBMHOF exhibited at the MLB 79th Annual 2008 All-Star Game Fan Fest located at the Javits Center in New York City, the Museum Hall of Fame was again invited by Major League Baseball to showcase their memorabilia along with the Chevy "Latino Legends" team. On August 30, 2008 HHBMHOF and the Arizona Diamondbacks honor Orlando Cepeda with a recognition Day at Chase Field followed by an exhibition. On September 6, 2008 HHBMHOF was present as guests of the San Francisco Giants at the unveiling of the Orlando Cepeda San Francisco Giants Statue at AT&T Park San Francisco, California in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco. On August 28, 2008 the Arizona Diamondbacks honored Orlando Cepeda with a recognition award at Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona. On September 19, 2008 HHBMHOF presented the Pioneer award to Mr. Rudy Jaramillo batting coach of the Texas Rangers followed by an exhibition at the Ball Park at Arlington, Texas. On September 13, 2008 HHBMHOF inducts Alex Fernandez to its Hall of Fame at Dolphin Stadium, Miami, Florida. On September 23, 2008 HHBMHOF presented the Pioneer award to Jesus Alou, Houston Astros followed by an exhibition at Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas. The HHBMHOF partnered with Johnny Walker and Eventus Marketing Services to showcase exhibitions in Chicago,Phoenix, Miami, Arlington, and Houston during the last couple of months of the 2008 baseball season.

June 13, 2009 HHBMHOF presents the first Annual Jose Uribe Sportsmanship award to San Francisco Giants Catcher Benji Molina. On June 13, 2009 HHBMHOF presented the Pioneer award to Mr. Dave Garcia, San Diego Padres at Petco Park, San Diego, California. On July 7, 2009 the HHBM HOF exhibits at the MLB 80th Annual All Star Game Fan Fest located at the America's Convention Center, St. Louis, Missouri. On September 27, 2009 the HHBMHOF exhibited at the opening of the new Lou Gehrig Plaza at 161st Street and River Avenue, Bronx, New York. HHBMHOF Orlando Cepeda was present to help open the Lou Gehrig Plaza and the HHBMHOF Exhibition to the community. On January 21, 2010 the HHBMHOF is endorsed by the New York Yankees. On July 9, 2010 the HHBMHOF exhibits at the MLB 81st Annual All Star Game Fan Fest located at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California.

On July 8, 2011, the HHBNHOF exhibited at the MLB 82nd Annual All-Star Game Fan Fest, located at the Civic Plaza in Phoenix, Arizona. During the Fan Fest, on July 9, 2011, the HHBMHOF inducted Luis Gonzalez as its 47th inductee presented by Mrs. Vera Clemente. The former Arizona Diamondbacks player is now a special assistant to the President of the Arizona Diamondbacks. On July 28, 2011, the HHBMHOF had an exhibition at the New Yankee Stadium honoring the six living Hispanic Hall of Famers: Roberto Alomar, Luis Aparico, Rod Carew, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, and Tony Pérez at the New York Yankees Museum from July 27, 2011, to the entire 2013 season. On July 6, 2012 the HHBMHOF exhibited at the MLB 83rd Annual All Star Game Fan Fest at the Bartle Hall Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri. At the Fanfest, Joe Azcue was inducted into the HHBMHOF as its 55th inductee by Mrs. Vera Clemente. Diego Seguí HHBMHOF was presented with the Pioneer Award by Mrs. Vera Clemente. On August 21, 2011, the Museum Hall of Fame inducted former Texas Rangers star player Rubén Sierra at the Ball Park in Arlington, Texas, as its 48th inductee. Currently, the HHBMHOF provides traveling exhibits to both National Major League baseball parks and Minor League baseball parks as well as a way to honor Hispanic players, coaches, managers, pioneer executives, and umpires.

The HHBMHOF since 2009, has had the honor and privilege to present the Jose Uribe Sportsmanship Award to a San Francisco Giants Hispanic player who best exemplifies the character and sportsmanship of the late Jose Uribe, a former San Francisco Giants shortstop from the Dominican Republic who was a member of the 1989 National League Champion San Francisco Giants who went on to play the Oakland Athletics during the earthquake-stricken 1989 World Series. The award is presented in September at the annual Fiesta Gigantes at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California at the beginning of that evening's game. The first recipient of the award was former Giants catcher Benji Molina in 2009. In 2010, the award was presented to Third Baseman, Pablo Sandoval. In 2011 the award was presented to Center Fielder Andres Torres. In 2012 the award was presented to Relief Pitcher Javier López. In 2013 the award was presented to Center Fielder, Angel Pagan. In 2014 the award was presented to Third Baseman Pablo Sandoval.

In 2014 the award was presented to Third Baseman, Pablo Sandoval. In 2015 the award was presented to Gregor Blanco. In 2016 the award was presented to Pitcher, Johnny Cueto. On July 12, 2013 the HHBMHOF exhibited at the MLB 84th Annual All Star Game Fan Fest at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, N.Y. At the Fan Fest Edgardo Alfonso was inducted into the HHBMHOF by Mrs. Vera Clemente. On July 11, 2014 the HHBMHOF exhibited at the MLB 85th Annual All Star Game Fan Fest at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the Fan Fest Tony Oliva was inducted into the HHBMHOF by Mrs. Vera Clemente and Rod Carew. On July 10, 2015 the HHBMHOF exhibited at the 86th Annual All Star Game Fan Fest Cincinnati Convention Center, Cincinnati Ohio.

On May 14, 2016 Pedro Guerrero, of the Los Angeles Dodgers was inducted at the old Yankee Stadium site now known as Legends Field, Bronx, New York. June 27, 2016 Eduardo Ortega, American Spanish Language Broadcaster for the San Diego Padres was inducted into the HHBMHOF at the New Americans Museum, San Diego, California. On July 8, 2016 the HHBMHOF exhibited at the MLB 87th Annual All Star Game Fan Fest at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California. At All Star Game Fan Fest Lisa Fernandez with presented the HHBMHOF award of recognition as the first Pioneer Hispanic Women Olympian Champion by Mrs. Vera Clemente and HHBMHOF Tony Oliva. On October 1, 2016 Leo Cardenas of the Cincinnati Reds was inducted at the Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio. On July 7, 2017 the HHBMHOF will be exhibiting at the 88th Annual MLB ALL Star Game Fan Fest at the Miami Convention Center, Miami, Florida. At the All Star Game Fan Fest Bernie Williams was inducted into the HHBMHOF as its 65th inductee. The HHBMHOF will be announcing the names of the 2017 HHBMHOF inductees in September 2017 by the HHBMHOF Inductions committee. The HHBMHOF will be participating in the 13th Annual KNBR Fiesta Gigantes at the Lefty O'Doul Plaza, San Francisco, California on September 16, 2017. On July 6, 2018 the HHBMHOF will be exhibiting at the 89th Annual MLB All Star Fan Fest at the Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. At the convention Center on July 7,2018 Mr. Jackie Robinson was Inducted in Memoriam into The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame at the Major League Baseball Annual All Star Game Fan Fest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center MLB Clubhouse. On August 3, 2017 Luis Cancel becomes CEO of the HHBMHOF.

Gabriel Tito Avila, Jr. On December 4, 2018 resumes being the President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame will be exhibiting at the 90th Annual MLB All Star Game Fan Fest on July 5, 2019 at the

Huntington Convention Center, Cleveland, Ohio.

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame (66) Inductees 1999-2019

Kokomo Dodgers

The Kokomo Dodgers were a minor league baseball team based in Kokomo, Indiana that was a charter member of the Midwest League. They were affiliated with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers and the franchise operated from 1955 through 1961. Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Orlando Cepeda played for Kokomo.

In 1955, Kokomo replaced the Danville Dans in the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League, playing as the Kokomo Giants, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The next season, Kokomo became an initial member of newly formed Midwest League, which grew out of the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League. The other Midwest League charter franchises were: Clinton Pirates, Dubuque Packers, Decatur Commodores, Michigan City White Caps, Paris Lakers, Lafayette Red Sox and Mattoon Phillies.Former Dodger Pete Reiser was the team's manager during the 1956 and 1957 seasons. The team won the Midwest League pennant in 1957, but lost in the playoffs.

Len Gabrielson

Leonard Gary Gabrielson (born February 14, 1940) is a retired outfielder in Major League Baseball. He graduated from the University of Southern California and played in the majors from 1960 through 1970, initially signing with the Milwaukee Braves in 1959 as an amateur free agent.

After parts of three seasons with the Braves, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs on June 3, 1964, in exchange for catcher Merritt Ranew and $40,000. Two weeks later, the Cubs traded their starting right fielder Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals, and installed Gabrielson as Brock's replacement.

He lasted less than a year with the Cubs, moving on to the San Francisco Giants in a five-player deal on May 29, 1965. The Giants received Gabrielson and catcher Dick Bertell, in return for Harvey Kuenn and Ed Bailey and pitcher Bob Hendley. Gabrielson gradually worked his way into a role as the team's starting left fielder, a role he successfully defended in spring training of 1966, beating back a challenge by Orlando Cepeda, who had been displaced from first base by Willie McCovey. He struggled with the bat that season, however, and in December was traded to the California Angels for first baseman Norm Siebern.

Gabrielson's stay with the Angels lasted all of eleven games, as the Angels sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Johnny Werhas on May 10, 1967. It would be the final trade of Gabrielson's career, as he spent the next four seasons with Los Angeles. He led the team in home runs with ten in 1968, an unusually low total made possible by league-wide offensive declines that season, the so-called "Year of the Pitcher".

His father, Leonard Hilbourne Gabrielson, was also an MLB player, having spent part of the 1939 season with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Retired numbers
Pre-World Series Champions (2)
Temple Cup Champions (1)
World Series Champions (8)
National League
Championships (23)
Division titles (8)
Wild card (3)
Minor league affiliates
Inducted as a Giant
Inductees who played
for the Giants
Giants managers
Frick Award
Inducted as a Cardinal
Inductees who played
for the Cardinals
Cardinals managers
Cardinals executives
Frick Award
Spink Award
Veterans Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
Executives /

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