Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Hispanic Baseball Museum to induct 101 year old player

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum is set to induct this December 29, 2006 Don Emilio"Millito"Navarro first Puerto Rican to play baseball in the Negro Leagues. Navarro is the oldest living professionaL baseball player in the world.

Emilio "Millito"Navarro was born September 26,1905 in Patillas,Puerto Rico.
He began his professional career in 1922 in Puerto Rico. In 1928 Millito went to the United States to play shortstop for the Cuban Stars, owned by the legendary Alex Pompez. Navarro play for the Cuban Stars and the Cuban Giants and hit for a .337 average.

This December 29, 2006 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum and Hall of Famer Jose (Cheo)Cruz will present this Museum’s
Pioneer plaque of induction to the inmortal Navarro as the 39th inductee into The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum. "He is a real legend in Puerto Rico" said Giants great Orlando Cepeda who is also from Ponce and a Hall of Famer in his own rights in Coopertown and with the HHBM.

According to current records, Emilio "Millito"Navarro was the first Puerto Rican to play baseball in the Negro Leagues. Navarro is now the oldest living professional baseball player in the world and oldest former Negro Leaguer since the death of Silas Simmons on October 29,2006.
The oldest living former Major League player is Rollie Stiles -1906.

After graduating from Castillo Public High School in Ponce, Navarro was offered a grant to attend the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez,which he turned down. At 23 years old he felt that he should help his family financially(like many Hispanic players often do)and believed he was more than ready to play in the U.S Major Leagues.
Because at that time the United States was a racially segregated nation and his skin color was a problem, Navarro went on to play in the Negro Leagues.

Emilio "Millito"Navarro played, managed and was one of the founders of the Ponce Lions professional baseball team of Puerto Rico. He retired in 1942 in Puerto Rico and devoted the rest of his life(as of today)to working and teaching young people. That same year he started working in the public shools in Ponce.He worked in all 20 schools in the city,visiting at least 4 each day.

At the time Millito started working in the public schools in Ponce, there was no basketball,volleyball or baseball because of the lack of space. Millito added these sports as the main after-school activity.

Aside from his induction this month into The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum, Don Emilio"Millito Navarro is also honored in ther African-American ethnic sports hall of fame in Guaynabo,Puerto Rico in the Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame and today with 101 years of live is the only surviving player from the Eastern Colored League of Negro League Baseball.

Gabriel Tito Avila Jr, CEO,Founder and President of The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum told me: "Millito Navarro is a real legend and Hall of Famer in the sense of the word, his contributions to baseball and to Puerto Rico on and off the field are indeed of great accomplishment and the HHBM is proud to have him among our Hall of Fame inductees"

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum has inducted such great Puertorican players as: Roberto Clemente,Orlando Cepeda and Jose Cruz among others.

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