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Ronald Eniclerico

baseball player. One of the most successful major league baseball players never to play on a championship team, Banks earned a reputation during his nineteen-year tenure with the Chicago Cubs as one of the most solid, dependable players in the game. He was known for his affable, optimistic attitude, epitomized by his well-known catchphrase: “It's a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let's play two!”

Banks was born in Dallas, Texas, to a poor family. In his autobiography, Mr. Cub (1971), he relates the story that, when he was a child, a boy from his neighborhood stole a chicken that had been intended for the Banks family's Thanksgiving dinner. Banks's mother had killed the chicken herself, and Banks had to wrestle the boy for the bird in a nearby basement apartment to reclaim the family's dinner.

Banks began playing softball in high school where he first played shortstop ...

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In June 1866 sailors from the United States who were importing Sugar from Cuba invited local Cuban dockworkers to play baseball. Thus began the Caribbean's initiation to the game, less than thirty years after its North American inception. In the few years that followed, baseball was pushed to the fore of Cuban consciousness by visiting North American businessmen, U.S. Marines, and wealthy Cuban students who had played at schools in the United States. By decade's end the development of a local talent pool was under way, and with the emerging political turmoil in the Caribbean around the turn of the century, both migrating Cubans and occupying Marines took the new pastime across the Caribbean basin.

At first baseball was played by Cuba s wealthy class lending it the exclusivity of polo cycling cricket soccer and other European sports that had taken root in the clubs of the Caribbean s urban ...

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Beatriz Rivera-Barnes

Major League Baseball player. Roberto Clemente Walker was born in Barrio San Anton in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the youngest of the seven children of Melchor Clemente and Luisa Walker. His father was a foreman on a sugarcane plantation, and his mother ran a grocery store for plantation workers. As an adolescent, Clemente excelled in sports such as track and field and played amateur baseball with the Juncos double-A club and with the Santurce Crabbers in what was known as the Puerto Rican Winter League. Because he was fast, had a great throwing arm, and was also a strong hitter, scouts from big league teams watched him play in high school.

When Clemente graduated in 1953 the scout Al Campanis signed him with the Brooklyn Dodgers with a $10 000 bonus The following season however the Dodgers assigned Clemente to play for their top affiliate in the minors ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

basketball player, was born on 16 April 1985 in the multiethnic city of Wau, South Sudan (then part of Sudan). He was the son of Martha Deng and her husband, Aldo Deng, an official in the Sudanese government who had served as Minister of Transportation and deputy prime minister, the family belonged to the same Dinka ethnic community as fashion model Alek Wek. When the second Sudanese civil war commenced in 1983, the Sudanese government had Deng's father arrested. Deng secretly escaped with family members from South Sudan to Egypt in 1990 For the next five years Deng lived with eight other relatives mostly siblings in a tiny apartment in Alexandria Egypt He later recalled We shared everything My life sounds tough but thanks to them it was very easy They did all the work The nine of us lived in a two bedroom apartment Some of ...

Article

Wesley Borucki

professional baseball player, coach, and manager. Larry Doby was born in Camden, South Carolina, to David Doby and Etta Doby (Brooks). He lived most of his youth in Camden with his maternal grandmother and an aunt and uncle.

Doby developed athletically in Paterson, New Jersey, where he joined his mother in 1938. He was an all-state athlete at Eastside High School. Doby played his first professional baseball game on 31 May 1942 with the Negro National League's Newark Eagles. In 1942–1943 he played basketball at Long Island and Virginia Union universities before conscription into the United States Navy. His fellow serviceman and Washington Senators all-star Mickey Vernon encouraged Doby to pursue professional baseball. Doby played second base for the Eagles, champion of the 1946 Negro World Series. That summer he married his high school sweetheart, Helen Curvy.

Doby played several successful exhibition games against ...

Article

Robert M. O'Brien

Hall of Fame baseball player. Anthony “Tony” Keith Gwynn was one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball and one of the most beloved players during the 1980s and 1990s.

Born in Los Angeles, he moved to Long Beach, California, when he was ten. He was a star athlete in baseball and basketball, earning a scholarship in the latter to San Diego State University in 1977. At San Diego State he was a star point guard, setting a school record for assists. After the basketball season ended he would play the second half of the baseball season for the school. Basketball was his first love, but being not tall enough and not quite fast enough led to the realization that he might not make it professionally, even though he was drafted in the tenth round by the National Basketball Association's San Diego Clippers.

However he played enough baseball ...

Article

Daniel Donaghy

professional baseball player. Willie Howard Mays Jr. was born in Westfield, Alabama (just outside Birmingham), to William Howard Mays, a steel mill worker, and Ann Mays. Mays's parents, both accomplished athletes (his father a baseball player, his mother a champion sprinter in high school), stressed the importance of education as well as athletics. Growing up in a segregated town whose high school did not have a baseball team, Mays began playing alongside his father at fourteen for a semiprofessional squad sponsored by the mill where his father worked. His professional career began in 1947 with a brief stint with the Chattanooga Choo Choos in Tennessee before he joined the Birmingham Black Barons in the Negro American League While his father supported his son s athletic aspirations he also insisted that his son complete high school before committing himself fully to baseball As a result Mays played only ...

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Paul Finkelman

the first African American to play professional baseball in the modern major leagues. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 and played that year for their top-rated farm team, the Montreal Royals, in the International League. On Opening Day in 1947, Robinson officially broke the color line in baseball as the starting first baseman for the Dodgers. Robinson would play for ten years, garnering numerous awards, starting with Rookie of the Year in 1947. In 1962, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. In 1997, on the fiftieth anniversary of his first game, Major League Baseball permanently retired his uniform number, 42. After leaving baseball, Robinson was active in business, politics, and civil rights.

Robinson was born near Cairo, Georgia. His father, Jerry Robinson a sharecropper left the family when Robinson was seven months old ...

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The home run duel between Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire was the highlight of the 1998 major league baseball season. Although at the end of the season Sosa trailed McGwire by four home runs, both had surpassed Roger Maris's longstanding single-season record of sixty-one, and Sosa had captured the hearts of baseball fans with his easy smile and enthusiasm for the game. The year represented a breakthrough for Sammy Sosa. Aside from hitting sixty-six home runs (including a record twenty in June alone), Sosa led the Cubs to the team's first playoff appearance in nine years, hit for a season average of .308, drove in 158 runs (at the time the fourth-highest total in National League history), and won the National League Most Valuable Player award in a landslide, capturing thirty of the thirty-two first-place votes.

Born in San Pedro de ...

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Robert M. O'Brien

Baseball Hall of Famer, who played for six teams during a twenty-two-season career as an outfielder and designated hitter. Off the field he has been a philanthropist, author, and baseball executive.

Winfield was the second of two boys born to Frank and Arline Winfield in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His parents separated when he was a small child. Growing up in a working-class home in Saint Paul, Winfield described his childhood as happy, with organized sports and especially baseball becoming his passion. By his senior year of high school the six-foot-six Winfield had become a star in both baseball and basketball. After graduating high school he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, who planned on sending him to the minor leagues. Winfield instead opted for the local University of Minnesota on a half baseball scholarship.

At Minnesota he excelled as a pitcher his sophomore and senior seasons with an arm injury ...