Latin America has provided the major leagues with some of the biggest stars in baseball history, leaving many great names to choose from when selecting 5 famous baseball players from Puerto Rico. Following are five men whose names are legendary not only in their native land, but also in the annals of baseball.
- Roberto Clemente. Still hailed as a hero in Puerto Rico, the 1966 National League MVP award winner finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits and a lifetime batting average of .317. Blessed with perhaps the greatest arm of any outfielder in baseball history, Roberto Clemente also won 12 Gold Gloves during his 18-year Hall-of-Fame career—all with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Throw in a .362 batting average in two World Series and you have the greatest and most famous baseball player from Puerto Rico of all time.
- Orlando Cepeda. This big first baseman won the 1958 Rookie-of-the-Year award with the Giants and was named the 1967 National League MVP as a Cardinal. But his greatest season may have been 1961 when he led the league with 46 homers and 142 RBI while batting .311. Finishing his career with 379 home runs and a .297 lifetime average, Hall-of-Famer Orlando Cepeda ranks second on our list of 5 famous baseball players from Puerto Rico.
- Ivan Rodriguez. One of the most decorated catchers in baseball history is Ivan Rodriguez who has taken home 13 Gold Gloves and the 1999 American League MVP award as a Texas Ranger. Entering the 2010 season with 305 career home runs, more than 2,700 hits, and a .299 lifetime average, “Pudge” earns a spot on our list of 5 famous Puerto Rican baseball players.
- Roberto Alomar. This 10-time Gold Glove winning second baseman finished his 17-year career with a .300 average, 210 home runs, and 2,724 hits. The switch-hitter also led the Toronto Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and ’93 while posting a .347 average in the two Fall Classics. Ranking among the greatest second basemen of all time, Roberto Alomar is one of the game’s 5 most famous baseball players from Puerto Rico.
- Carlos Delgado. Through 2009, Carlos Delgado was number one among his fellow countrymen in career home runs with 473 earning him the final spot on our list of 5 famous baseball players from Puerto Rico. Three times the slugging Blue Jays first baseman topped 40 homers in a season and in 2003 led the American League with 145 runs batted in. In his only post season (2006 with the Mets), Delgado batted .351 while belting 4 home runs in 10 games.