Hispanic Heritage Month: Major League Baseball

Posted by on Sep 29, 2022 in Current Events

More than two thousand Hispanic and Latinx players have participated in Major League Baseball (MLB) in its history. Today, roughly 250 of the current 1,200 MLB players are of Hispanic or Latino descent. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, MLB will be highlighting and celebrating the contributions and achievements of Hispanic and Latino players and fans.  

A Proud Legacy 

While sports enthusiasts disagree about who are the “greatest” Latino MLB players of all time, some of the most popular and well-known include: 

  • Roberto Clemente 
  • Fernando Valenzuela 
  • Pedro Martinez 
  • Mariano Rivera 
  • Alex Rodriguez 
  • Jose Canseco 
  • Sammy Sosa, and  
  • Albert Pujols. 

Telling the Stories 

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, MLB is producing shows, podcasts, and other digital content to engage Latin American baseball fans in the United States. On September 15, 2022, MLB Originals premiered “Fuera del Ballpark,” a three-film docuseries about the impact of baseball fandom in everyday Latin American life. When creating the series, MLB partnered with Remezcla, a multicultural creative agency that specializes in Latin American culture. Each episode is directed by a Latin American native. The series is available on MLB.TV and MLB’s YouTube channel.  

This month, MLB will also feature new episodes of “Llamada al Bullpen,” the official podcast of Las Mayores, which spotlights Latino players. These episodes will include a look at All-Star Albert Pujols and an interview with Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrin. MLB’s “PLAY LOUD” mic’d up series will have special Spanish-language best-of collections. MLB Network’s Play Ball will focus on Roberto Clemente and Albert Pujols. At the same time, all MLB Clubs have Spanish-language websites and social media platforms. 

Other Celebrations 

Individual clubs have special celebrations planned this month as well. For example, on September 16, 2022, the Atlanta Braves hosted their annual Los Bravos Night to focus on the impact of the Hispanic and Latino community. The event included Latin musical performances in the pregame; a special recognition for Latino players and coaches; lineups announced in Spanish; and a Ronald Acuna, Jr., bobblehead. On the same night, the Chicago Cubs hosted Hispanic Heritage Day and served specialty concessions such as a Cuban sandwich, elote nachos, and sope.  Also on September 16, the Boston Red Sox celebrated Dia De Los Medias Rojas in recognition of Mexican Independence Day. The club also recognized Hispanic Heritage Night on September 28, 2022. Both events featured special giveaways, musical performances, and pregame ceremonies honoring Latino members of the community.  

Roberto Clemente statue
Roberto Clemente statue outside of PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On September 19, 2022, the Baltimore Orioles recognized Roberto Clemente Day with a special photo shoot with Latino players and coaches. Players also visited Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School No. 215. whose student body is 84 percent Hispanic, for a special question and answer session. The Los Angeles Dodgers acknowledged two Dia De Los Dodgers Community Heroes. The Dodgers also hosted a Latina Career Day on September 28, 2022. And on August 19, 2022, the Detroit Tigers held their annual Fiesta Tigres celebration, featuring a pregame ceremony honoring Latino players and coaches. The game was also broadcast in Spanish for the first time in the club’s history.  

Dig Deeper What did your local or your favorite MLB team do to honor Hispanic Heritage Month? (If you don’t know, visit the club’s website to find out more.)