Showing posts with label Jackie Hernandez. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jackie Hernandez. Show all posts

Friday, September 2, 2016

Jackie Hernandez recalls historic first all-Black major league lineup 45 years later

On September 1st, 1971, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh made history when he fielded the first all-Black lineup Major League Baseball had ever seen. Starting at shortstop was Jackie Hernandez, a Cuban native who was in his seventh big league season.

Jackie Hernandez / 1972 Topps

Earlier this summer, Hernandez discussed highlights from his professional career at the SABR 46 conference in Miami. One of his most memorable moments was his inclusion in the ground-breaking lineup.

“To play in the all-Negro lineup, that was great for me,” Hernandez said. “I will never forget that. I never think that will happen again, a whole lineup of Blacks and Latins. That goes with me for life.”







Thursday, August 4, 2011

Astros Martinez first home run riles up his hometown supporters

Moments after J.D. Martinez hit his first major league home run, the action at Casanova's Baseball Academy in Hialeah came to a screeching halt. His first-inning blast off of Dontrelle Willis had the phone ringing off the hook. Former major leaguer Paul Casanova picked up the call and excitedly shouted, “Flaco did it! He hit his first home run!” All of the players working out stopped and cheered for the hometown rookie.

“Flaco” is the nickname which most of the people at the baseball academy call Martinez. Trained under the watchful eyes of major league veterans Casanova and Jackie Hernandez, Martinez built his legend right in Casanova's backyard, literally.

Casanova runs a training facility out of the backyard of his home, complete with pitching machines, batting cages and video recording equipment. Martinez has been faithfully attending sessions at the academy since he was a budding superstar at Miami's Flanagan High School. He was called up less than a week ago to replace Hunter Pence after his trade to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Both ex-major leaguers had ear-to-ear grins as the calls poured in and the highlights flashed on the MLB Network.

“He's been coming here since he was a kid," Casanova said. "Everyone down here knows he was working with us and we are just happy to see him do it.”

As Martinez topped off the rest of the game with two doubles, one of which narrowly missed being a home run, Hernandez confidently asserted that this will be a normal occurrence for Martinez. “He's been doing this everywhere he's been. Every level, he's hit. We will see him in left field for many years to come, just watch.”

While the cheers in Houston may have been plentiful for Martinez, they were just as loud in Hialeah, as the hopefuls watched one of their own begin to build his legacy in the majors.

“All of Hialeah is pulling for him.” Casanova said.