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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 ...

Article

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 ...

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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 ...

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Adam W. Green

baseball player, was born Eddie Clarence Murray in Los Angeles to Charles Murray, a rug company mechanic, and Carrie Murray. The eighth of twelve children, Eddie was raised in the poverty-stricken neighborhood of Watts, but was closely watched by his parents, who readily dispensed chores and discipline. Playing baseball in the backyard, he and his siblings used broomstick handles to hit tin foil balls and swerving Crisco can lids. Though he also played basketball at Locke High, Eddie was the star first baseman and pitcher on the diamond, where he played with the future Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. Scoring admirably on a psychological exam given to amateur players, the results of the exam showed that he had “tremendous emotional control. He had a lot of drive, but it was masked by his emotional control,” according to former Orioles scout Dave Ritterpusch (Christensen The ...

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Adam W. Green

baseball player, was born and raised in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of nine children of William Puckett, a department store and postal worker, and Catherine Puckett, a homemaker. Growing up in the crime-ridden Robert Taylor Homes projects, Puckett taught himself baseball fundamentals at an early age, throwing sock balls at a chalk strike zone on building walls. As a third baseman at Calumet High, he lifted weights to compensate for his diminutive (five-foot, eight-inch) stature.

After receiving little collegiate attention his senior year, Puckett worked on a Ford assembly line following graduation in 1979 at the age of 19 Noticed by a college coach at a free agent tryout Puckett was offered a scholarship to Bradley University Though small and round the atypical body for a centerfielder let alone leading base stealer the speedy Puckett moved to center field and led the ...

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Adam W. Green

baseball player, was the second of four children born to Mariano Rivera Sr., a fisherman, and Delia (Giron) Rivera, in Panama City, Panama. From modest beginnings in a devoutly religious fishing port city, Rivera was signed by the New York Yankees and became not only a cornerstone for the Yankee powerhouse club of the 1990s and 2000s but also arguably the most dominant relief pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Growing up in Puerto Caimito with his older sister Delia and two younger brothers Alvaro and Giraldo Rivera played baseball like the other boys in his village Rivera mostly used branches and broomsticks for bats shredded fishing net and electrical tape or tennis balls for baseballs and cardboard for gloves though he received his first leather mitt when he was twelve as a gift from his father After attending primary school at Puerto Caimito Victoriano Chacon ...

Article

Adam W. Green

baseball player, was born Osborne Earl Smith in Mobile, Alabama, to Clovis Smith, a truck driver, and Marvella Smith, a homemaker. When Ozzie was six, his parents moved with their five children to the Watts section of Los Angeles. Smith took up baseball at a young age, and rarely went anywhere without a ball in his hands. Developing his hand-eye coordination by spending hours fielding a rubber ball thrown against his house, Smith eventually played shortstop at Locke High School, which he entered in the fall of 1969. His small frame kept him from being noticed by baseball scouts, many of whom were interested in Smith's teammate and future Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray.

Graduating from high school in 1973 Smith enrolled that fall at California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo on a government grant and made the baseball team as a walk on ...

Article

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 ...