New York – The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame inaugurated at New York's Yankee Stadium the "Latino Living Legends" exposition featuring some of the best Hispanic ballplayers in the history of the sport in the United States.
The show pays tribute to Puerto Ricans Roberto Alomar and Orlando Cepeda, the Venezuelan Luis Aparicio, Panama's Rod Carew, the Dominican Juan Marichal and Cuba's Tony Perez, the six living Latino players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Of the six, the only one to attend Thursday's event was Cepeda, who told Efe that "as a baseball player, it's an honor to be included with these other greats," and asked that greater efforts be made to support Latino baseball.
"I'm asking the organization to back this project, not only for us, but for the younger guys on their way up. We have to do our part so that tomorrow they'll be stars too," the former San Francisco Giants first baseman said.
The expo occupies an entire corner of the New York Yankees Museum and includes photos, original signed and framed jerseys, together with a biography of each of the players, who contributed some of their favorite objects associated with their horsehide careers to adorn this "Latino corner."
Among the objects are Sports Illustrated covers featuring Carew, Aparicio's glove, a ball autographed by Marichal and Cepeda's 1967 Most Valuable Player trophy.
The show, which will remain open until the end of the year, also has picture cards of the players, original caps and autographs of the six "living legends" of Latino baseball in the United States.
The founder and president of the Hispanic Baseball Museum Hall of Fame, Gabriel Avila, said during the presentation that he feels honored to be associated with such a prestigious club as the Yankees.
"It's another step toward assuring a permanent home for the museum commemorating the history of baseball, America's favorite pastime," he said.
The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame was established in 1999 to preserve the legacy and the profound influence that players of Latino origin have had on the sport in the United States.
Attending the ceremony were figures from the Latino world and New York baseball, and featuring the presence of the veteran Dominican musician Johnny Pacheco, himself a "living legend" of salsa.