Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Three Latino Statues

When Juan Marichal got the news
about being the second Latinamerican
player to have a statue,
he was honored, thrilled, but not
well informed.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezOn March 29, 2005 the San Francisco Giants
announced that they will honor three of their
ex pitchers this season, Juan Marichal, Gaylord
Perry and Robb Nen.

Marichal (The Dominican Dandy)was very proud
and said it was an “honor for him to be the
second Latinamerican player to have a statue
in a major league ballpark”. I know Juan and
he is one of the nicest and most decent people
you would meet not only in baseball but in any
walk of life.

But I just wanted to set the record straight
regarding this matter, which was not picked
up by the local Bay Area Media, which I
scooped on this:

The first ever statue ever for a Latinamerican
player was:

1- At Pittsburgh for Puertorican great Roberto Clemente on July 8, 1994 to kick off All Star
week in Pittsburgh.

2- At Chicago’s Celullar Field for great Cuban
White Sox player Orestes(Minnie)Miñoso on
September 19, 2004

Then this next May at SBC Park Lefty O’Doul
Plaza (the Dominican Dandy)Juan Marichal
the best San Francisco Giants pitcher ever.
Juan deserved it back in 1982 when yours truly
organized “Juan Marichal Day” in San Francisco
for Marichal. The moment was well remembered
when we were all invited to then Mayor of
San Francisco DIanne Feinstein’s office at SF
City Hall. Today Feinstein is Senator for the
State of California.

Juan is so popular in the Dominican Republic
that If he ran for President he will basically win
hands down, but he prefers to stay in baseball
and not jump into politics. He has told me
for many years and has been consistent.
Last time I spoke with him during one of his
visits to SBC Park I asked him over the air
on the radio: “If you ran against countryman
Sammy Sosa for President, who will win ?
He smiled and said :”Oh, Sosa fácilmente”
(Oh Sosa easily). I am afraid that would change
recently since we watched Sosa in front of Congress
and Marichall continuing as a good ambassador
for the game of béisbol. Plus, when Juan pitched,
steroids were not a commonly used word. Maybe
something that those scientist at Stanford were
working on.

The San Francisco Giants will also honor
Gaylord Perry another great hurler,
who after leaving the Giants on a trade won
the Cy Young Award in both leagues with
Cleveland and San Diego and their all-time
saves leader Robb Nen who recently retired
after an injury.

The Giants 122 years of history are well documented in New York and since 1958 in
San Francisco. SBC Park(once Pac Bell Park)
is only 5 years old but is already filled with
great memories, many plaques and statues,
with Willie Mays, arguable the best player of
all time right at the corner of the Park.
Behind SBC Park(outside the Park)there
is a statue to a Seal documenting the story
of the old San Francisco Seals and specially
Joe DiMaggio’s great hitting streak as a Seal
prior to his great 56-game hitting streak
record with the New York Yankees.
Plus in a couple of years SBC will host
the All Star Game.

Now next month SBC will have a statue of one
of the clasiest and most dominant pitchers of
any era. Juan Marichal, the only Dominican
player inducted into the Hall of Fame in
Cooperstown, New York.

The Giants are not short on history and one of
the most pleasurable things about SBC is that
Giants history is all over the place, in plaques,
statues,monuments. Those are the advantages
of a 122 year old franchise over others.

Last time when a good friend who broadcasts
for the Diamonbacks was in town he told me
“we have a swimming pool behind the right
field fence in Phoenix, you guys have the
San Francisco Bay behind right field”. We also
had a conversation as we walked into the
broadcast level at SBC Park, you see photographs
of Christy Mathewson,John McGraw,Bill Terry,
Mel Ott,Carl Hubell,Willie Mays,Juan Marichal,
Orlando Cepeda,Willie McCovey. And during
any given afternoon you could see Mays,
McCovey and Cepeda walking around mingling
with the fans. Aside from the New York Yankees,
the St Louis Cardinals there are not many
other places in baseball like SBC Park where
there is so much history “walking around”.
In New York Berra,Rizzuto,Ford in St Louis
Musial and others.

During the same open house the Giants also
made public a new 3-year deal with Spanish
radio station KLOK 1170 AM (Cumbia 1170)
the most powerful Spanish 24 hours format
station in Northern California. The South Bay
powerhouse KLOK has 50,000 Watts of power,
only KNBR,KGO and KCBS have such wattage
here in this area.
The Giants added some games this season
to the home weekends and will broadcast
50 games in Spanish on KLOK with Erwin
Higueros, Tito Fuentes and yours truly.
Much credit has to go to Mario Alioto, Senior
Vice President of Corporate Marketing for
the Giants who worked very hard in obtaining
the most powerful Spanish radio signal north
of Los Angeles.


1 Anonymous { 03.31.05 at 8:07 pm }

The A’s will also be in Espanol on KZSF in the Bay Area along with KAFY (Bakerfield), KBYN (Modesto), KSKD (Fresno), KHDV (Salinas), KNTO (Livington/Merced) and KCFA in the State’s capital. If Lewis Wolffe builds a new ballpark in Oakland, there might another Latino statue coming soon.

Tu Amigo, Edgar Martinez, A’s Fan aka Pachyderm

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