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13 Dec

There are ton of latino athletes nowadays. Many Latino athletes have faced prejudice not just for their ethnicity, but also for their raced.

There were probably many Latinos before the hyphenization of America and before scouts regularly head South of the Border to recruit players.

Latino’s in baseball are legendary, starting from Ted Williams (his mom was Mexican) to Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez. But Ted Williams was not the first Latino Major League player. That would be Esteban Bellán, 1871, Troy Haymakers, In 1919, Adolfo “Dolf” Luque, 1919, relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, against the infamous “Black Sox.” (He later pitched for the New York Giants in the 1933 Series and was credited with the win in the final game.) The first Latino Hall of Fame Player (not counting Williams) would be Roberto Clemente. Today it would be hard to name a team that did not have at least one Latino born or player of  Latin descent.

Football’s first professional Latino player was Cuban, Ignacio Saturnino “Lou” Molinet, a halfback who played for Cornell and then in 1927 played for Frankford Yellowjackets. He was followed by Jesse Rodriguez, a fullback/punter, who played for Salem College and then in 1929, the Buffalo Bisons. Today some of the more famous players are Luis Catillo (San Diego Chargers), Robert Garza (Chicago Bears) and Mark Sanchez (NY Jets).  Chad Ochocinco doesn’t count. He was born Chad Javon Johnson and changed his name to the Spanish word for his jersey number, 85.

There are not as many Latino basketball players as there are track and field stars, tennis or boxers.  There are even Latino Hockey (Scott Gomez of the NJ Devils) and figure skaters (Rudy Galindo).