What piece of MLB history did the Rays make on Roberto Clemente Day?
The Tampa Bay Rays surprised the MLB on Roberto Clemente Day by using an all-Latin American batting line-up as they thrashed the Blue Jays.
Since 2002, the Major Leagues have celebrated Roberto Clemente Day every September 15th, the first Latin-American player inducted into the Hall of Fame. Against the Toronoto Blue Jays on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays marked the occasion with their own special commemoration.
The Rays used an all-Latino batting line-up during their 11-0 victory, with all of the players wearing jersey number 21 in honor of the historic Puerto Rican player.
The Rays’ ninth included Cubans Yandy Díaz and Randy Arozarena, Dominicans Wander Franco, Manuel Margo and José Siri, Venezuelans David Peralta and René Pinto, the Colombian Harold Ramírez and the Mexican Isaac Paredes.
What did the players say?
Ramírez declared: “It is great for the team and for each Latino player, and it’s even more special because it is Roberto Clemente Day. This happened on the right day. We all enjoyed it after the game because nobody knew about it.”
For Díaz, born in Sagua La Grande, Cuba, it was a very special moment because he believes that “Latinos are putting a different image on the game of baseball”.
Team manager Kevin Cash said he didn’t notice the lineup until someone mentioned it to him midway through the game.
“It’s pretty cool, I didn’t realize until halfway through the game, someone mentioned it to me. It’s amazing because at the same time, the Latino community has had a huge impact on Major League Baseball for many years,” Cash said.