The Tampa Bay Rays paid homage to the late great Roberto Clemente in the most thoughtful way imaginable. In doing so, they achieved something unprecedented.
The baseball world celebrated the 21st annual Clemente Day on Thursday, Sept. 15th. Hispanic Heritage Month also got underway on the same day.
To commemorate the occasion, the Rays made history by naming MLB’s first-ever All-Latino lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays.
"Pretty damn cool" - Jomboy Media
Third baseman Yandy Díaz and right fielder Randy Arozarena, who are both from Cuba, topped the lineup. They were followed by shortstop Wander Franco from the Dominican Republic, and first baseman Harold Ramírez from Colombia.
The designated hitter was Manual Margot, also from the Dominican Republic, followed by left fielder David Peralta from Venezuela.
The second baseman was Isaac Paredes of Mexico, and the catcher was René Pinto of Venezuela. Center fielder Jose Siri of the Dominican Republic rounded out the batting order.
All players wore No. 21 to honor Clemente, who played 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Clemente helped the Pirates win the World Series in 1960 and 1971.
The Blue Jays’ Bo Bichette, José Berríos, George Springer and third-base coach Luis Rivera also wore No. 21 to pay tribute to Clemente.
But it wasn’t just the accolades that made Clemente a sporting icon. He is a trailblazer for all Latino players, paving the way for them to make a career in the majors.
Clemente was a phenomenal player, but an even better human being. He tragically died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while attempting to deliver emergency supplies to Nicaragua following a devastating earthquake.
Thanks to Clemente Day, the baseball world gets to honor the life and legacy of an icon, a trailblazer, and a legend.
Aided by an All-Latino line-up, the Tampa Bay Rays dictate one-way traffic
Following Yandy Diaz’s three-run homer in the second inning, the Tampa Bay Rays never looked back.
Isaac Paredes hit a solo home run and added an RBI single as the Rays went on to claim the final game of the five-match set.
Thursday’s loss reduced the Blue Jays' lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card race to only half a game.
The Seattle Mariners currently occupy the top Wild Card spot with an identical .563 win percentage to the Blue Jays, but with two games in hand.
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