On a significant date, as this day kicks off the commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, in addition to Roberto Clemente Day, the Tampa Bay Rays made history, as they became the first MLB team to start a game with an all-Latin American lineup and paid tribute to the legendary Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player in the process.
“We made history! On the day that all of our players are wearing number 21, we became the first team in MLB history to start a game with an all-Latin American lineup,” the Rays wrote on their Twitter account.
It was in the last game of the series against the Toronto Blue Jays that Tampa Bay made history with its all-Latin American-born lineup and also paid tribute to Puerto Rican legend Roberto Clemente, as all players wore the number 21.
The historic lineup of the Tampa Bay Rays
Yandy Daz, 3B (Cuba); Randy Arozarena, RF (Cuba); Wander Franco, SS (Dominican Republic); Harold Ramrez, 1B (Colombia); Manuel Margot, BD (Dominican Republic); David Peralta, LF (Venezuela); Isaac Paredes, 2B (Mexico); Ren Pinto, C (Venezuela); and Jos Sir (Dominican Republic), were the players called up by manager Kevin Cash to face the Toronto Blue Jays.
“It’s a very important day for us, because he is very special for all Latin Americans,” Harold Ramirez said.
“Our guys have a lot of passion and they told us they wanted to represent (Roberto Clemente) in their own way,” Kevin Cash said.
The tribute comes at the start of Hispanic Heritage Month
The historic lineup and the tribute to Clemente comes on a special day, as this September 15 began Hispanic Heritage Month, which ends on October 15, a month in which the impact of Hispanics in the United States is commemorated and in which they take pride in their roots.
Its origin dates back to 1968, when U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an order to create Hispanic Heritage Week; but 20 years later it was extended to a month, an extension order signed by Ronald Reagan.
In addition, the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the Independence Anniversary of some Hispanic countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua; Mexico celebrates it on the 16th and Chile one day later.