Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball


The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum
is the only museum of its kind in the country.
Established in San Francisco, California
in June 1999, as a nonprofit institution
501(c)(3). This Museum is dedicated
to, recognizing the contributions made
to baseball by its Hispanic players and
once again the HHBM will be present
at the Giants and Athletics Fanfest
to take place on February 12, 2005.

By Amaury Pi-González

Did you know that the great Ted Williams
(considered by many as the greatest
pure hitter of all time)was of Hispanic
Heritage ? Yes. Ted Williams mother,
María Hernández Venzor was born
in Ciudad Juárez, México.The Museum
have the birth certificates.

Did you know that the great Puertorican
player Roberto Clemente was once
a US Marine ? Yes. The Hispanic Heritage
Baseball Museum has photographs
showing Clemente as a US Marine.

This and many other historical facts
are what The Hispanic Heritage Baseball
Museum is all about. Starting this 2005
the museum has a total of 30 players
that have been inducted into its Hall
of Fame.

A total of -at least-30 % of all Major League
Baseball players today were born in
Latinamerica. The main countries were
all this talent comes are (in alphabetical
order): Colombia,Cuba,Dominican Republic,
México,Nicaragua,Panamá,Puerto Rico and

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum
is committed to preserving the history and
profound influence that Hispanic players
have had on “America’s Favorite Past Time”
The primary purpose of this unique Museum
is to provide a center where displays of
Hispanic baseball history will educate
visitors on the true meaning of diversity.

Founded in 1999 in the City of San Francisco
and with Giants Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda
as a member of its Board, the Museum has
been traveling to many Major League and
Minor League cities accross the country
and taking its prized collection to fans
of all ages and all ethnic groups.

This idea of this Museum was a “labor of
love”by its founder Mr. Gabriel(Tito)Avila Jr.
a career military man that has lived with
a great passion from baseball since he
was born in the Bronx, New York of
Puertorican parents. When Mr. Avila
moved to the Bay Area in the late
1990s he brought that idea here to

Last year the HHBM was invited again to
participate with its historical exhibits at
Cal-Expo in Sacramento. The California
State Fair that is visited each summer
by 1 million people. This past year,
Tito Fuentes, ex-secondbaseman for
the San Francisco Giants and Oakland
Athletics signed autograph for baseball
fans from 9 to 90 years old at this
popular State Fair.

Coming up this next April, the Hispanic
Heritage Baseball Museum will have
exhibits at 7 of the 27 Libraries in the
City of Sacramento. The Sacramento
Rivercats are big supporters of the
Museum as well as the San Francisco
Giants, Oakland Athletics and other
Major League teams.

Prior to the first game ever at Pac
Bell Park(today SBC)park in San Francisco
in March 2000 the President and Founder
of the Museum met with baseball
Commissioner Bud Selig. Mr.Selig
sent a letter to aknowledge the
importance of The Hispanic Heritage
Baseball Museum and its committment
to history and community.

Some of the great Hispanic players
that are in The Hispanic Heritage
Baseball Museum Hall of Fame are:
Roberto Clemente(El Cometa de
Carolina) born in Puerto Rico
who played for 14 years with
the Pittsburgh Pirates. Orlando Cepeda
National League Rookie of The Year
in 1958 with the San Francisco Giants
from Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Luis Aparicio, from Venezuela, one
of the great shortstops of all time
with the White Sox and Orioles.
Venezuela is The Land of Shortstops;
Omar Vizquel 9-time Gold Glove winner
is now with the Giants, Ozzie Guillen
once a great shortstop with the White
Sox is presently managing the Chicago
team. David Concepción a great piece
of the Big Red Machine of Cincinnatti
in the 1975, Chico Carrasquel one
of the pioneer shortstops from Venezuela
in the 1950s, Carlos Guillén the current
shortstop for the Detroit Tigers they
are all from Venezuela.
From Cuba in the HHBM Hall of Fame
Orestes (Minnie)Miñoso
who became the first ever black
Hispanic player to play in the Major
Leagues when he was a rookie in
1949 with the Cleveland Indians,
just two years after Jackie Robinson
broke baseball’s color barrier.
Fernando Valenzuela, from México
is also in the museum Hall of Fame
as well as Panamanian Rodney Cline
Carew who won 7 Batting Titles, not
to mention the greatest hurler ever
in the history of the San Francisco
Giants Juan Marichal who won 243
games. Many others are part of
the 30 total in the HHBM Hall of Fame.

The name of the Museum has Heritage
because it honors not only those that
were born in Latinamerica but also
players with Hispanic blood, like
previously mentioned Ted Williams
(who is also in this Hall of Fame)
it honors players like Alex Rodríguez.
A-Rod, the man with the most lucrative
sports contract in the history of professional
team sports was born in New York City,
but raised in Miami of Dominican parents.

This Feburary 12, 2005 The Hispanic
Heritage Baseball Museum will be present
at both local teams Fanfest. With KNBR and
the Giants from 11 a.m until 4 p.m at
Pier 48,McCovey Cove, San Francisco
and at the Oakland Network Associates’
Coliseum with the Oakland A’S Fanfest
2005 from 10 a.m until 4 pm. The Giants
Fanfest admission is free but Giants and
KNBR are asking for your voluntary
donations to benefit the Tsunami victims.
The A’S Fanfest in Oakland has a $10
admission and the proceeds will benefit
the A’S Community Fund and Cure Autism
Now Foundation.

Many players are expected to attend
to both Fanfest and The Hispanic Heritage
Baseball Museum will have a place for
you to visit and meet their people.

Mr. Avila Jr. the leader of the Museum
has plans for a building exclusively to
be the permanent home of the Museum
to be built at a cost of between $20
to $30 million. But in the meantime
this nonprofit is looking for a place
to house the Museum which is mainly
a traveling Museum as of today.

If you want to help this noble cause,
the address and website are listed here
below. If you visit the A’S or Giants
Fanfest this February make sure to
stop by and say hello to the people
that work so hard as volunteers to
bring to the community the history
and memorabilia of Hispanic baseball.

P.O Box 591375
Golden Gate Station
San Francisco, CA 94159.
Or visit their colorful website:


1 Anonymous { 01.26.05 at 7:29 pm }

You are right, I visited HHBM last year at A’s Fanfest. It was great, and I might go this year. Also, I saw a displays of memorilia at San Francisco Public Library back in 2001. Although, the “Hispanic” in the title can be debatable but its a debate for another day. The celebration of baseball and the Americas are the more important part.

Tu Amigo, Edgar Martinez (A’s fan aka Pachyderm)

2 Anonymous { 09.05.06 at 5:27 pm }

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3 Anonymous { 09.07.06 at 1:15 am }

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