Showing posts with label Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. Show all posts

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Oglivie honored to be part of the 2012 Latino Baseball Hall of Fame class

Ben Oglivie was caught off guard when a call came yesterday from the Dominican Republic informing him of his selection to the recently formed Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. The Colon, Panama native was one of six post-1959 era players selected as part of the 2012 class. Each Latin American country (Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela) had one player chosen for enshrinement, which will take place in February.

Ben Oglivie / Author's Collection
Given that this group is only their third class, Oglivie while green to its existence, was eager to learn more.

"I didn’t know exactly how it worked, but tonight I will find out a lot about it," Oglivie said via telephone "I am honored to be mentioned and to find out that I was accepted into it."  

Wrapped up in his duties as the hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers Class-A West Michigan Whitecaps, the 16-year major league veteran, had little time to process his selection.

"I haven’t been able to take it in as I just got the call yesterday," he said, "but now that it is right in front of me I probably will now just exercise it. Now it’s kind of starting to sink in and it is a real honor."  

As his first season with West Michigan comes to an end, Oglivie continues to enjoy having the opportunity to guide the next wave of major leaguers.

"This is a good level," he said. "What we have here, we have a number of guys that potentially can be major leaguers. We have three or four [major league] prospects on this team and it’s good to work with them. Being that I played in the major leagues, you have an idea [of what it takes], and I want to be able to help them get there."  

For now. he hopes that the young players he is helping to mold heed the parables of the newly minted Hall of Famer.

"I’ve just been trying to make sure that they get good advice, whether it is how to be a major league player, or how to be a professional on and off the field."

* This was originally published September 2, 2011 for Examiner.com

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bernie Williams placed among Latino baseball legends

The Latino Baseball Hall of Fame (Salon de Fama del Beisbol Latino), located in La Romana, Dominican Republic, announced its Class of 2012 selections at the MLB offices Thursday. Leading the class of 2012 was the much revered New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams. The Puerto Rican centerfielder was among a panel that included Latino Baseball Hall of Famers Felipe Alou, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Perez.

Minnie Minoso, Felipe Alou, Tony Perez, and Bernie Williams / N. Diunte
While much of the attention centered on the announcement of Williams’ selection, the San Juan native humbly deferred to the legends seated to his left. The first person he mentioned in his impromptu speech was Miñoso who is potentially a candidate for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown with the introduction of the “Golden Era” ballot, which reviews the candidacy of players between the years of 1947-1972. Williams expressed fond memories of hearing the praises of the “Cuban Comet” in his household as a youngster.

“Everybody in my family knew about the great feats of Minnie Miñoso," Williams said. "When they talked about great baseball players in my household, they would say, ‘Minnie Miñoso es [un] tremendo pelotero.’ I always grew up listening about him even though I never saw him play, but I saw him through the eyes of my family."

Starting as a 16-year-old playing for Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League, Williams beamed with pride while speaking about his first manager who also happened to be fellow panel member, Felipe Alou.

“Felipe, he was my first manager," he said. "As a 16 year old, I remember taking off after high school going to Criollo de Caguas. It was my first team and he was my first manager. It was just a great experience and he was like a father figure to me.”

Alou has been a driving force in the formation of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. Enshrined in their first class, Alou is promoting the heritage of Latinos in baseball through the museum.

“This is probably my last baby in my career," he said. "I think this is big for many reasons; big because of all of the great players that are becoming and have become and will become part of this project. There are so many great Latin players who are really short in Cooperstown.”

Alou hopes to enlighten the younger players and the rest of world about the great players of the past. The Latin influence in baseball is one he feels that needs to be both preserved and celebrated.

“The Latinos, there are not a whole lot of history that today’s player know," he said. "We know, those of us that are here, that it took over 100 years to get all of these Latino players in the Hall of Fame. We would like for the Latino players and also the American people to know some of those players of Cooperstown quality, so they know where we all came from and where they came from and where we are going.”