The 2023 season has so far been a bad time for a very good player. Nolan Arenado, the Cardinals’ superstar third-baseman, has been in an uncharacteristic and extended slump all year — made all the more glaring by the fact St. Louis is off to one of its worst starts ever. Arenado has fallen short of his typical MVP-like performances on both offense and defense. He’s had seven straight years (not including the pandemic shortened 2020 season) with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, and he’s won 10 straight Gold Gloves — one for every year he’s been

By |May 10th, 2023|History|

ICON: Mike Cuellar

To call Mike Cuellar one of the greatest pitchers in Baltimore Orioles history is saying a lot, considering how the Birds’ powerful pitching staff was the backbone of the team’s American League dominance in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. The native of Las Villas, Cuba, was a force on the mound during his era despite a slow start to his major league career, however. He made his debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 1959 at age 22, then spent the next four years floundering in the minors. A trade to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964 — Cuellar was

By |April 29th, 2023|History|

ICON: Edwin Encarnacion

It’s been a while since Edwin Encarnacion took his parrot for a walk, and baseball hasn't been the same. The Dominican slugger was known for his big bat — 424 career homers, with nearly 1,300 RBI — but it was the home run trot he adapted late in his career that really endeared him to fans. Encarnacion would circle the bases with one arm up at shoulder height, as if he had an imaginary parrot perched on his arm. The gimmick started in 2012, when the then-Toronto Blue Jays masher hit a grand slam, and continued until he retired in

By |April 28th, 2023|History|

ICON: Jose “Cheo” Cruz

Jose Cruz wasn’t a big slugger or run producer, but over a 19-year major league career, 13 of them with the Houston Astros, the Arroyo, Puerto Rico native was renowned for his consistent hitting, solid defense, and excellent base-running skills, making him one of the best all-around players of his era and a fan favorite when players from Puerto Rico were a rarity. Affectionately known as "Cheo," Cruz began his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1970, but it was with the Astros that he made his mark. He played in Houston from 1975 to 1987 and was a

By |April 27th, 2023|History|

ICON: Benito Santiago

He wasn’t known for his prowess at the plate, but Benito Santiago didn’t need to be. The Puerto Rico-born catcher enjoyed a 20-year career in the majors on the strength of his skills behind the plate — especially his ability to throw out would-be base thieves. Santiago made his MLB debut in 1986 with the San Diego Padres and quickly established himself as one of the top young catchers in the league due mostly to his defense. At 22, he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1987 (18 HR, 79 RBI .300), becoming the first NL

By |April 21st, 2023|History|

ICON: Dennis Martinez

Most baseball fans fondly recall pitcher Dennis Martinez as a solid, if unspectacular starter long overshadowed by big-name aces in Baltimore (Jim Palmer, MIke Flanagan and Scott McGregor among them). But even though Martinez was never considered a No. 1, any team would have been happy to have a pitcher who finished a 23-year career at age 44 with 245 wins, a respectable 3.70 ERA, 30 shutouts, four All-Star game appearances and a World Series ring in 1983 with the Orioles. The 245 wins by the Nicaragua native for the Orioles, Expos, Indians, Braves and Mariners stood for 20 years

By |March 21st, 2023|History|

STAR SPOTLIGHT: Sandy Alcantara, 2022 NL Cy Young winner

Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara has a losing career record, plays for a perennial bad team, and few baseball fans outside of Florida can pick him out of a lineup. Yet for the past few seasons, the Dominican Republic-born righty has been considered one of the best pitchers on baseball. Alcantara finally put together the season Miami — and the MLB — have been waiting for. In 2022, he went 14-9 with a stellar 2.28 ERA — the National League now uses the DH, remember — and a league-leading 228.2 innings pitched. Not to mention hurling six complete games, a

By |March 21st, 2023|History|

ICON: Orlando ‘El Duque’ Hernandez

When pitcher Orlando Hernandez joined the New York Yankees rotation in 1998, Major League Baseball fans soon discovered what fans in his native Cuba had known for more than a decade. The right-handed hurler nicknamed “El Duque” (The Duke) was a very special player. It wasn’t just his unorthodox and unforgettable delivery — a high leg kick that brought his bent knee next to his head — or the way he deceived batters with an array of pitches that made him stand out. Hernandez was simply a winner, an unflappable clutch performer both as a star in Cuba who won

By |March 6th, 2023|History|
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