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Chevrolet Presents the Major League Baseball Latino Legends Team unveiled today10/26/2005 7:06 PM ET
The "Chevrolet Presents the Major League Baseball Latino Legends Team" was unveiled today during a special pre-game ceremony that was broadcast nationally on FOX Sports and around the globe by MLB International prior to Game Four of the 2005 World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Among those honored as part of the all-time Latino team were current New York Yankees third baseman and nine-time All-Star Alex Rodríguez as well as Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Roberto Clemente and Juan Marichal. Fan balloting on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and in participating Chevrolet dealerships, determined the "Chevrolet Presents the MLB Latino Legends Team."
The players selected by the fans to the "Chevrolet Presents the Major League Baseball Latino Legends Team" consist of:
Catcher: Ivan Rodríguez
First Base: Albert Pujols
Second Base: Rod Carew
Shortstop: Alex Rodríguez
Third Base: Edgar Martínez
Outfield: Roberto Clemente, Manny Ramírez, Vladimir Guerrero
Starting Pitchers: Pedro Martínez, Juan Marichal, Fernando Valenzuela
Relief Pitcher: Mariano Rivera
Today, Latinos make up a significant portion of both the Major League Baseball player and fan bases. As of Opening Day 2005, 204 players born in Latin American countries were on Major League Baseball Club rosters accounting for nearly 25 percent of the overall MLB player base. The Dominican Republic led all countries with 91 players, followed by Venezuela with 46 and Puerto Rico with 34. According to ESPN Sports Poll, more U.S. Hispanics are fans of MLB than any other professional sport and the concentration of the MLB fan base in the U.S. that is Hispanic has grown significantly over the past decade. Since 1996, the percentage of MLB fans that are Hispanic has increased by 31% from 9.5% to 12.4% (ESPN Sports Poll), and today nearly 6.4 million Hispanics consider themselves Major League Baseball fans (Simmons Research).
"Players of Latin American heritage have a deep passion for the game of baseball, and have made immense contributions to the national pastime," said Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "This program was created to reflect those contributions and to honor the indelible mark they have left on the game. It is my distinct honor to congratulate each of the twelve players that comprise the final Chevrolet Presents the Major League Baseball Latino Legends Team. "
"We are proud to partner with Major League Baseball in support of this program as it recognizes the most significant Latino players of all-time," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "This program was one of many community outreach efforts Chevrolet sponsors in the Hispanic community."
Academy Award nominee, Edward James Olmos emceed the pre-game ceremony, which recognized the 12 players selected by the fans to the all-time Latino team. More than 1,600,000 total votes were cast both online, and in participating Chevrolet dealerships nationwide as part of the program. Fans selected eight position players, one at each infield position and three outfielders, three starting pitchers and one relief pitcher to makeup the "Chevrolet Presents the Major League Baseball Latino Legends Team."
As the presenting sponsor of the "Major League Baseball Latino Legends Team," Chevy launched an exciting sweepstakes which gave one lucky fan a trip for four to Game Four of the 2005 World Series and behind the scenes access to the official unveiling. Fans entered the sweepstakes through the paper ballots available at participating dealerships and online at MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.