Thursday, November 18, 2010

Felix Hernandez 2010 AL Cy Young Winner

It was announced today that Venezolano Felix Hernández is the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner. The voters recognized that though Hernández finished the season with a 13-12 record he led the league (or was at the top of the league)in most pitching categories. The voters placed emphasis on performance over results since the Mariners had the worst offense in the league and failed to score enough runs during Hernández's starts to win the games he started. It is believed that his record would be different (and more like prior Cy Young Winners) if he had a team like the Yankees or Rays hitting behind him. Regardless if that is true or not, history has been set with Hernández winning the award with the lowest number of wins in a non-strike season (Fernando Valenzuela won the award in 1981 with a 13-7 record).

Hernández is the second Venezolano to win the Cy Young since Johan Santana won the award in 2004 and 2006. In total there have been seven Latinos to have win the award. Here is the list:

1969 Mike Cuellar (AL)(w/ Denny McClain)
1981 Fernando Valenzuela (NL)
1984 Willie Hernández (AL)
1997 Pedro Martínez (NL)
1999 Pedro Martínez (AL)
2000 Pedro Martínez (AL)
2004 Johan Santana (AL)
2005 Bartolo Colon (AL)
2006 Johan Santana (AL)
2010 Felix Hernández (AL)

The breakdown by country is as follows:
Dominican Republic 2
Venezuela 2
Puerto Rico 1
Mexico 1
Cuba 1

Hernández's Cy Young Award is sense of pride for all Venezolanos and I believe it will be front page on every newspaper in Venezuela. Congratulations to Felix Hernández on winning the Cy Young Award.


For Further Reading
- Click Here for the official BBWAA webpage listing the results of the 2010 AL Cy Young Award
- Click Here for the list of past Cy Young Award winners since 1956

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Neftali Feliz 2010 AL Novato Del Año

It was announced yesterday that closer for the American League Champion Texas Rangers Neftali Feliz has won the 2010 Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award. Neftali received 20 of 28 first-place votes for a total of 122 points (20-7-1). Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson finished second with 98 points (8-19-1) and Danny Valencia of the Minnesota Twins came in third with 12 points (0-1-9).

This marks the 18th Latino to win the Rookie of the Year Award with the first Latino being Venezuelan Luis Aparicio who won the award in 1956. Feliz is the 7th Dominican to win the award (prior winners were Hanley Ramírez, Albert Pujols, Rafael Furcal, Raúl Mondesí, Angel Berroa and Alfredo Griffin) and is the first pitcher to do so. Here is the breakdown of Rookie of the Year Award winners per country:

Dominican Republic 7
Puerto Rico 5
Cuba 2
Venezuela 2
Panama 1
Mexico 1

Here is the list of award winners:

2010 Neftali Feliz Texas Rangers (AL)
2008 Geovany Soto Chicago Cubs (NL)
2006 Hanley Ramirez Florida Marlins (NL)
2003 Angel Berroa Kansas City Royals (AL)
2001 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals (NL)
2000 Rafael Furcal Atlanta Braves (NL)
1999 Carlos Beltran Kansas City Royals (AL)
1994 Raul Mondesi Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
1990 Sandy Alomar Jr. Cleveland Indians (AL)
1987 Benito Santiago San Diego Padres (NL)
1986 Jose Canseco Oakland Athletics (AL)
1985 Ozzie Guillen Chicago White Sox (AL)
1981 Fernando Valenzuela Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
1979 Alfredo Griffin Toronto Blue Jays (AL)
1967 Rod Carew Minnesota Twins (AL)
1964 Tony Oliva Minnesota Twins (AL)
1958 Orlando Cepeda San Francisco Giants (NL)
1956 Luis Aparicio Chicago White Sox (AL)

Mexican pitcher Jaime Garcia of the St. Louis Cardinals made a good showing for himself in the NL Rookie of the Year voting by coming in 3rd place behind winner Buster Posey and runner-up Jason Heyward.

Year after year, the young Latinos continue to establish themselves in the major leagues. I believe next year will be no different with the arrival of such Latinos as Jennry Mejia of the New York Mets and Jesus Montero of the New York Yankees. Pa'adelante hermanos.


For Further Reading
- Click Here for the list of the Rookie of the Year Award since 1947 from

Friday, November 12, 2010

Latino World Series MVPs

When all was said and done in the 2010 World Series, Colombian native Edgar Renteria was chosen as the 2010 World Series MVP. Renteria batted .412 for the series (7 for 17) with two homers and six RBI. Couple his performance with his 1997 World Series heroics of delivering the winning hit for the Florida Marlins in the 11th inning against Cleveland Indians pitcher Charles Nagy and you have Renteria joining rarefied air.

Only four players in the history of the major leagues have ever had two World Series winning hits. The other three are Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio. To further illustrate how impressive his performance was this series, Renteria no three RBI games during the regular season and had TWO in the World Series. Renteria is also the fifth shortstop to win the World Series MVP (Bucky Dent 1978, Alan Trammell 1984, Derek Jeter 2000, David Eckstein 2006)

Renteria also joins a select few of Latinos to win the World Series MVP award. Renteria joins the following fraternity:

1971 Roberto Clemente
1973 Reggie Jackson
1977 Reggie Jackson
1981 Pedro Guerrero (w/Steve Garvey and Ron Cey)
1990 Jose Rijo
1997 Livan Hernandez
1999 Mariano Rivera
2004 Manny Ramirez
2007 Mike Lowell

In total, there have been nine latinos to win the award. There have been three Dominicans (Guerrero, Rijo, Ramirez), three Puerto Ricans (Clemente, Jackson, Lowell), one Cuban (Hernandez), one Panamanian (Rivera) and one Colombian (Renteria).

*** AUTHOR'S NOTE: For those of you who wonder why I include Reggie Jackson in this list, you need to visit one of my earliest posts 1st Latino Baseball Superstar where I quote Reggie Jackson as saying:

"They (Baseball) have no right to pass judgment on what I claim about my Latin heritage," said Jackson, whose middle name is Martinez. "I just don't run my mouth off about it."

*** AUTHOR'S NOTE: I originally posted that Mike Lowell was Cuban when in fact he was born in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents who were of Irish and Spanish ancestry. Thanks to Fernando Ramos for the heads up.

So there you go folks. Latinos keep placing their mark on the beautiful game of Baseball that we all love. Muchas gracias hermanos. Sigue pa'lante.


For Further Reading:
- Click Here for Anthony Castrovince's article Edgar Rings-eria! Series MVP is clutch again from dated November 2, 2010
- Click Here for Carl Bialik's article Renteria: An Unlikely World Series MVP from dated November 3, 2010 for a more Sabermetric view on Renteria's MVP accomplishment
- Click Here for Richard Sandomir's article Who's a Latino Baseball Superstar from dated August 26, 2005 for Reggie Jackson's comments on his Latino Heritage