Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Giant check to Hispanic Museum

Prior to the game on July 22 at SBC
Park between the Florida Marlins
and the San Francisco Giants,
executives for the Giants will
present officers of The Hispanic
Heritage Baseball Museum
a check for $25,000

Amaury Pi-GonzálezWhen the Giants hosted the Athletics
May 20,21 and 22, the Giants players for
the first time were wearing a specially
made jersey that read “Gigantes”.
The Giants beat the A’S and when
veteran Venezuelan shortstop Omar Vizquel
suggested they should wear it again for
good luck, they did, and they beat the A’S

These G-i-g-a-n-t-e-s jerseys were extremely
successfull promotion. The Giants players
autographed each one of them and went
on a silent auction on the Giants website

At the conclusion of the silent auction some
$25,000 were collected and the Giants pledged
to give the total amount to The Hispanic Heritage
Baseball Museum. The Giants were the first
team to do such fund raising for the museum
which was founded in San Francisco in 1999
as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum is
a musem created and dedicated to the contributions
of Hispanic players to baseball. Today around
30% of all players are Hispanic. Most of these
were born in Latinamerica but others
(past and present)were also born here in the
United States, of Hispanic heritage. For example,
Ted Williams mother María Hernández-Benzor
was born in Ciudad Juárez, México, therefore
Williams is of Hispanic heritage. Sometimes last
names do not tell the whole story, you have
to do some research. The Minneosta Twins had
a pitcher by the name of Al Williams, he was
born in Nicaragua spoke Spanish and was Hispanic
as well as ex Giants outfielder Marvin Benard.
Eric Chávez is Hispanic even though he doen’t
speak Spanish and doesn’t pronounce his name
the correct way: Chávez….with accent on the
“a” not Chavéz. It doesnt’ matter how he wants
to call himself, he was born in Los Angeles and
is of Hispanic Heritage that is what counts. This
is a free country and you can pronounce your name the way you want to.

(Just for the recod)In 1975 when I was doing News
and Sports at the old KOFY 1050 AM(Today part
of KNBR) KOFY was 24-hours Spanish I traveled
to Salinas and interviewed for our newscast the
most famous Chávez ever in this country. Farm
worker leader César Chávez. He knew how to
pronounce his name, but he was also in a position
of power and he was fighting for people being paid
under the federal minimum.

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum has
30 inductees in their Hall of Fame. One of them
is Ted Williams. A few years ago Ted’s
family friend Mr. Bill Nowlin traveled from Boston
to San Francisco to receive the honor on behalf
of Ted Williams, and his number 9 Red Sox
jersey was forever enshrined in the HHBM
Hall of Fame along with the history of what many
consider ‘the greatest pure hitter of all time’.

The purpose of the museum is to not only pay
tribute to the history,memory and contributions
of Hispanic baseball players, but to also educate
visitors of our culture and to bring pride to the
Hispanic community at a time when role models
are rare and more in need than ever. This is
a unique opportunity to leave future generations
a legacy,the only one of its kind in the United

As a person that works as a broadcaster and
writer in baseball, I feel extremely proud to
have been given the opportunity of working
on behalf of The Hispanic Heritage Baseball
Museum to achieve a goal that is as positive
as the people we have involved in this endeavor.
I could never forget one of our first exhibits
at the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center
on the Skylight Room(all the way up on the
last floor). We watched as a regular fan, kneeled
in front of the Roberto Clemente display and
basically prayed there for a few minutes.

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum continues
to display mementos of Hispanic Major League
players. Recently our exhibits were at 7 of
the 27 libraries in the city of Sacramento,
showing memorabilia and history of players
from México,Cuba,Dominican Republic,
Puerto Rico,Panamá,Venezuela, Colombia,
United States and others. The HHBM displays
are from players of the past and present.
The museum has exhbited in the past in such
popular places as the San Francisco Main
Library at Civic Center, twice at the Cal-Expo
fair in Sacramento,which is visited by over
1 million people each summer and soon
will be at the Oakland main library.

The museum has traveled to some 20
Major League cities to induct Hispanic ballplayers
as well as to show its exhibits during many teams
Hispanic Days.

Prior to the first ever game at SBC Park and when
Commissioner Bud H. Selig visited this park for
the first time, the Commissioner met with our
President Tito Avila Jr, and endorsed the idea
of a Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum later
the Commissioner send us a letter expressing
his very positive feeling about this endeavor
as well as his support.

This museum is all about the history,traditions
and memorabilia of the greatest Hispanic players
of all time as well as the most popular. The
contributions of a player to his community are
paramount, the HHBM doesn’t just induct players
because of their statistics.

The plan is to have its permanent location in
San Francisco, and with the support of its diverse
population,the museum will be built on donations
from corporate sponsorhips,private donors, and
fund raising activities. Founding Members of
the museum are recognized in the museum’s
guide book as well as being honored at the
museum. Once built the museum will substain
itself through museum gift shop sales,
merchandising concession stands,memberships
auctions, players signing and community events.

A lot of credit has to go to the San Francisco Giants
who came up with this idea of wearing the
G-i-g-a-n-t-e-s jerseys during the Juan Marichal
statue unveiling weekend at SBC Park and
for their initiative on this promotion as a fund
raiser for The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum.
Win or loose on the field the Giants have always
maintained a sense of their long heralded
tradition, specially with Hispanic ballplayers and
that makes the Giants one of our biggest partners
in our endeavor. Hall of Fame player Orlando
Cepeda is on the Board of Directors of The
Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum, he is also
in our Hall of Fame as well as very popular second
baseman Tito23 Fuentes, who at the end of his
career also played for the Athletics.

The Giants this year also signed with the most
powerful Spanish format radio station north of
Los Angeles. KLOK 1170 AM (50,000 Watts)with
studios in San José is carrying 50 home games
in Spanish of the San Francisco Giants. It is easy
to see that the Giants have a powerful flagship
in KNBR 680 in English but ironically since this
season they also have another 50,000 Watt
signal carrying their games and that is Radio
Cumbia 1170 AM, KLOK. The SF Giants might
be the only team in baseball with two 50,000
Watt stations carrying their games.

All those interested in becoming annual members
can call Toll Free 1-877-228-4426 or visit the
museum’s webiste
Annual members receive quarterly newsletter and
other news in advance of all events.

The HHBM is one of the most popular attractions
at the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics
fanfest each season

At the time of this column the historical Giants
franchise had 9,999 wins, soon to be the
first ever to reach 10,000 wins in Major League
Baseball. The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum
reflects more about baseball that just the results
on the field, therefore for the HHBM the Giants
are a real winner in the community, we thank
the Giants from owner Peter Magowan down the
line to the whole organization for coming
with this great promotion on the ‘Gigantes’ jersey
and for donating the whole proceeds to the
By-the-way, do not be surprised If the Giants
use the ‘Gigantes’jersey again in the future.

In the name of the President and Founder of
The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum,
Tito Avila Jr and yours the Vice President and
from Orlando Cepeda and the whole Board
of Directors of the Museum
Thanks Giants.
Muchas gracias !


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