Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Some of the Pioneers

Ruben Gómez died this week at his
home in Puerto Rico -long illness-
he was 77 and the first pitcher
from Puerto Rico to
win a World Series game.
In 1958 Gómez pitched
the first game for the then
“new” San Francisco Giants
at Seals Stadium.
But many other Latino pioneers
couldn’t play in the Major
Leagues prior to 1947
because of the color of
their skin.
Here are a few of the best.

By Amaury Pi-González
San Francisco,CA.

Born May 25, 1905, Matanzas,
Cuba. Died May 20, 1971.
6’3″ 190 lbs
Baseman,Second Baseman,

Martin Dihigo was one of
the greatest players in the
Latinamerican Leagues
and US Negro Leagues.
He played from 1923 until
1947 in the US with the
Cuban All Stars and
New York Cubans. In
Cuba with the Havana
in México with Veracruz
and in Venezuela with

Dihigo not only could
play every position and
played it well but he
could hit, too. In
the Negro Leagues he
often won the Home run
crown. In Latinamerica
he became a legend as
a pitcher one year in
México he posted an
incredible 0.15 ERA,
almost perfect.

In his native Cuba
people called him
“The Immortal”and
in other countries in
Latinamerica “El Maestro”
(The Master).
He is considered the
best second baseman
in Negro League history
and as a center fielder
Cool Papa Bell once
said “Best I have ever

Martin Dihigo is the only
player ever to be elected
into 4 countries Baseball
Hall of Fame: US, Cuba,
México and Venezuela.

Born January 29, 1909 in
Coamo,Puerto Rico. Died
November 4, 1989 in
Ponce, Puerto Rico.
5′ 11″ 180 lbs.
He played from 1926 until
1946 in the US with Cuban
All Stars in Puerto Rico
with Ponce in Cuba
with the Cuban League
and in México with Puebla.

The great Roberto Clemente
from Carolina, Puerto Rico,
the first Latin born player
ever to be elected to
the US Hall of Fame in
Cooperstown, New York
said that Coimbre was
a better player than him.

(In Spanish Francisco’s -Frank-
are called Pancho’s)
He was a complete player
with great speed,great
arm but he was famous
for his hitting. His lifetime
average of .337 is the
second best in Puerto Riccan
baseball history.

He once went two years
in a row without striking
out once ! and in 1,915
at bats he struck out only
29 times.

He posted the following
batting averages in Puerto
Rico during the 1930’s and
1940’s: .401, .372, .376,
.425, .333, .338, .323, .336,

Pancho Coimbre is a hero
in Puerto Rico and is in the
Puerto Rican Baseball
Hall of Fame.

Born April 11, 1906 in
Santo Domingo, Dominican
Republic. Died 1971 in
Guayama,Puerto Rico.
5′ 10 ” 160 lbs.
Center Fielder.
Played from 1927 until
1956 in the US with
New York Cubans in
the Dominican with
Escogido and Estrellas
Orientales and in Puerto
Rico with Caguas,Guayama
and Santurce.

Juan Estéban (Tetelo)Vargas
was the first Dominican
baseball Legend.
(In the 2004 Major League
season around 175
Dominicans were playing
among the 30 teams, most
for foreign born players)
From 1927 and until
the early 1950’s he
was one of the greatest
hitters in the Caribbean
Winter Leagues. In 1943,
1946 and 1947 he hit
.410, .382 and .362 in
the Puerto Rican League.

Twice led the league
in hitting and stolen
bases. He was very fast.
A former player that
saw him play said:
“Tetelo ran as fast as
someone that had
stolen something
other than just a base”.

In the US with the
New York Cubans hit
7 Home runs in 7
consecutive turns
at bat. If you think
Barry Bonds was
great ? Tetelo Vargas
at age 46 led the
Dominican Republic
with a .350 batting
average. In exhibition
games against the
New York Yankees
batted .500

Tetelo Vargas is in
the Puerto Rican Baseball
Hall of Fame.

Born 1906 in San Juan,
Puerto Rico. Died 1955
in Puerto Rico.
5’11” 200 lbs
Shortstop, First Baseman.
Played from 1930’s until

Pedro Aníbal “Perucho”
(The Bull) Cepeda was
the greatest Puertorican
player that never played
in the United States.

Aware of the racism in the
US he decided not even to
come to the United States
and play in the Negro Leagues.
He wanted no part of the
racism of those years,
prior to Jackie Robinson
breaking the color barrier
in 1947 with the Brooklyn

Perucho Cepeda was Puerto
Rico’s first batting champion.
During the 1938 to 1938
Winter League season he
hit .365 then the next
three year he hit for
.383, .423 plus an
incredible .464.

He was called “The Bull”
because of his muscular
build and a very quick

His son Orlando “Peruchín”
Cha-Cha Cepeda was a
great player in the Major
Leagues with the Giants
and is in the Hall of Fame
in Cooperstown, but Cepeda
told me that his father was
a better player.

Perucho Cepeda is in the
Puerto Rican Baseball
Hall of Fame.

Born August 27, 1906 Havana,
Cuba. Died December 12, 1977.
5’11” 175 lbs
Played from 1926 until

Luis Eleuterio Tiant Sr was
called “Sir Skinny”.
A left handed pitcher
that threw a screwball
a spitball and a weird
curveball and had a
real crazy motion to
the plate.

Tiant Sr still owns the
record in Cuba for a
pitcher with 12 shutouts in
a season.

His famous pick-off move
to first base was legendary.
Runners at first base thought
he was starting his wind-up
to the plate when BANG !
he threw to first and caught
the runner off base.
In one of his most legendary
moves Tiant was ready to
make a pitch when the
batter thought the
throw was a pitch and
swung at a ball that wasn’t
there. The umpire said to
the batter: “If you are dumb
enough to swing, it’s a strike!”

His son Luis Tiant (El Tiante)
pitched for many years in
the Major Leagues specially
with the Boston Red Sox and
copied his father motions
at the mound.

Luis Tiant Sr is in the Cuban
Baseball Hall of Fame.

Born March 19, 1887 in
Cárdenas, Cuba. Died
October 31, 1928, Havana,
5’8″ 155 lbs.
Pitcher, Shortstop,Second
Baseman, Third Baseman,
Outfielder. Manager.
Played from 1908 until
1927 in US with Cuban
Stars, Kansas City Monarchs
and in Cuba with Almendares.

was the first Latino baseball
legend ever. In Cuba they
called him “El Diamante Negro”
(The Black Diamond)

During the first quarter
of the 20th century there
was no better pitcher.
John McGraw, manager in
the US could not hire
Méndez because of the
color of his skin, yet
he did secretly hired him
to coach his pitchers.

With a tremendous breaking
ball Méndez was a dream
pitcher. He had very long
fingers and alloud him to
put extra spin on the ball.

He finished his brilliant
career in Cuba with an
incredible .747 winning
percentage. Sometimes
when Méndez walked into
a restaurant in Cuba,people
would get up and clapped.

Born 1895,Cuba. Died
1938 in New York, N.Y.
5’9″ 190 lbs.
Center Fielder.
Played from 1913 until
1928 in the US with Cuban
Stars and Chicago American
Giants and in Cuba with
the Almendares.

Cristóbal Torriente was
called the “Cuban Babe
Ruth”. Once Torriente
had more Home runs
and more hits than
Babe Ruth. During
an exhibition Torriente
hit .378 and hit 3 Home
runs while Ruth hit
.348 and 2 Home runs.

In Cuba Torriente still
holds the third highest
lifetime average with

Like Puerto Rican
Roberto Clemente and
current Dominican
born player Vladimir
Guerrero, Torriente
was a notorious “bad
ball”hitter. He could
swing at a pitch over
his head and hit it
for a double or a pitch
almost in the dirt and
put it out of the park
for a Home run.

He loved the spotlight.
He wore bracelets on
his wrists and a red
bandana around his
neck. Just before he
was about to hit a
Home run, Torriente
would jangle his

Cristóbal Torriente
is in the Cuban Baseball
Hall of Fame.
(Researched from The Hall
of Fame Baseball Museum
Cooperstown, New York
and Mr.Jonah Winter of
“Béisbol”plus the MLB
Encyclopedia and the
Negro League Museum
in Kansas City)Credit to
all of them.

Many other Latino players
also played in the US
Negro Leagues and
a few Latinos of
white skin like
Adolfo Luque of the
New York Giants
born in Cuba, played
in the 1920’s. Luque
was the first Latino
to win 20-games in
a season. In 1923
with the Cincinnati
Reds Luque won
27 games.
Amaury Pi-González is on his 2nd season
as Spanish Play by Play Announcer for the
Seattle Mariners Spanish Radio Network
see( all;
81 home games for the Mariners from
Safeco Field in Seattle,Washington a
5-station network. On his 10th season
as Spanish Voice for the San Francisco
Giants over KZSF 1370 AM “La Caliente”
San José,California. Previously
for 17 seasons Spanish play by play for
the Oakland Athletics. Amaury was inducted
into the Cuban Sports Hall of Fame in
Miami, Florida February 8, 2004.
Vice President of The Hispanic Heritage
Baseball Museum, a non profit organization
founded in San Francisco in 1999.
In 2003 the acclaimed Marquis Who’s
Who in America selected Amaury’s
biography and published it.


1 Anonymous { 05.28.06 at 6:33 am }
2 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

3 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

4 Anonymous { 07.21.09 at 9:53 am }

Interesting article, could you explain the last paragraph in more detail please. Thanks, Rachel-Klawson,

5 Anonymous { 07.22.09 at 5:47 pm }

Of rising sign, HM Kreiss?geblatter beispielsweise?Time Do this, fulfill her new.It may never, ){,

6 Anonymous { 08.21.09 at 2:54 am }

I hate your dog!

7 Anonymous { 09.04.09 at 10:13 pm }

Hello Very nice I just wanted you to know that I am new to your blog and I am enjoying it! and got it bookmarked

8 Anonymous { 09.14.09 at 8:28 am }

Repairs comes out, assets in the?Browser market Let

9 Anonymous { 09.19.09 at 5:22 am }

Hey there i love your post,,

10 Anonymous { 10.14.09 at 5:12 pm }

Interesting article, thanks. Could you explain the second paragraph in more detail please?,

11 Anonymous { 10.15.09 at 5:07 am }

You might want to check out the alerts the Norton AntiVirus toolbar is giving about your site. Happend on this site as well

12 Anonymous { 10.20.09 at 3:57 pm }

Yo – does this Tamiflu crap really work? Im afraid of getting swineflu this season. I had the flu last year, and it wasnt pretty.,

13 Anonymous { 11.15.09 at 4:44 pm }

Your pencils

14 Anonymous { 12.01.09 at 12:55 pm }

Vale la pena ver el siguiente articulo que encontraras clickeando en el titulo.

15 Anonymous { 12.02.09 at 3:51 am }

Atractivo el siguiente link que se encuentra clickeando en el titulo.

16 Anonymous { 12.03.09 at 9:08 am }

Vale la pena ver el siguiente contenido que encontraras clicando el titulo.

17 Anonymous { 12.04.09 at 12:53 am }

Vale la pena visitar el siguiente link que se encuentra clickeando en el titulo.

18 Anonymous { 12.06.09 at 3:42 am }

Chequea el siguiente post que se encuentra clickeando en el titulo.

19 Anonymous { 12.09.09 at 9:25 am }

Chequea el siguiente enlace que puedes encontrar clicando el titulo.

You must log in to post a comment.