Baseball has almost as old a history in certain Latin American countries as in the U.S. In some countries, it is more popular than soccer and is seen as a way out of poverty for many young men. Baseball in the U.S. and Latin America are tied together by another event: when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for African Americans, he also broke it for dark-skinned Latino ball players. This encyclopedia is a celebration of Latino baseball players in the major leagues. The work begins its coverage with nine essays on topics such as baseball in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela. Essays on the differences in the Latin American version of the game, the similar difficulties faced by African American and Latino players, and the issue of underage players complete part 1. Part 2 covers 25 “icons of Latin American baseball,” among them Roberto Clemente and Alex Rodriguez. Each biography examines the life of the player, how he reached the major leagues, and his career up to retirement (or up to 2009). A bibliography of sources completes each article. Part 3 covers in about one page each 75 additional players, including Carlos Beltran, Bobby Bonilla, and Miguel Tejada. These shorter articles also include bibliographies for further reading. Four appendixes provide information on the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame; 12 rising stars, such as Robinson Cano and Geovany Soto; Latino players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame; and winners of the Roberto Clemente Award. The work concludes with a lengthy bibliography and index. This work is an excellent resource for baseball fans and also for Hispanic collections. It is recommended for public, school, and academic libraries. Also available as an e-book. --Abbie Landry
• Profiles 25 well-known and respected Latino American baseball figures, exploring how they overcame challenges to reach the top of the game
• Documents a total of 100 Latino American figures who exerted an influence on baseball through their positions as managers, coaches, broadcasters, or players
• Explains how the U.S.-born sport of baseball was exported to selected Latin American countries and gained popularity
• Explores links between African American baseball stars and Latino American stars, showing how early Latino American players also faced discrimination and were banned from the sport prior to Jackie Robinson's cracking of the color barrier
• Alphabetically arranged, 3000-word profiles of the 25 most significant figures of Latin American background in the history of baseball
• 75 shorter profiles of additional Latin American baseball figures of importance
• A comprehensive bibliography of books, newspaper articles, and magazine reports
"This encyclopedia is a celebration of Latino baseball players in the major leagues. … This work is an excellent resource for baseball fans and also for Hispanic collections. It is recommended for public, school, and academic libraries."
"…a nice variety of source material, both print and electronic, for interested researchers…Overall, this would be an excellent addition to a library's sports reference collection."