Puerto Rico's dominant run so far in the 2017 World Baseball Classic proves baseball on the island is alive and well. Now, one of the country's most prominent sports figures is joining Major League Baseball in an effort to grow the game even more.Roberto Alomar has been named a special
Puerto Rico's dominant run so far in the 2017 World Baseball Classic proves baseball on the island is alive and well. Now, one of the country's most prominent sports figures is joining Major League Baseball in an effort to grow the game even more.
Roberto Alomar has been named a special consultant to Commissioner Rob Manfred, MLB announced Thursday. One of just four players from Puerto Rico who have been elected to the Hall of Fame, Alomar will represent the game in his native commonwealth, help cultivate playing and coaching talent and serve as a spokesperson for MLB's Pitch Hit and Run program in his new role.
"I am honored to partner with Commissioner Manfred and Major League Baseball on this important initiative," Alomar said. "We have a proud history and a great passion for the game of baseball in Puerto Rico, and I am very excited to play a role in the development of our youth."
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Alomar is the most accomplished member of what is perhaps the first family of baseball on the island. Roberto, his brother Sandy Jr. and their father, Sandy Sr., combined to spend 52 seasons as Major League players. Roberto made 12 All-Star teams, won 10 Gold Glove Awards and won two World Series championships over a 17-year career with the Blue Jays, Padres, Indians, Orioles, Mets, White Sox and D-backs. Sandy Jr. played 20 seasons and is now the first-base coach with the Indians.
Roberto was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, joining Orlando Cepeda and Roberto Clemente as the Hall's only Puerto Rican members. Ivan Rodriguez was elected to Cooperstown in January and will be inducted this July.
"I look forward to Roberto playing a role in our youth initiatives in Puerto Rico and contributing to our Pipeline Program," Manfred said. "With many exciting young Puerto Rican players in our game today, we have a great opportunity to take strides forward in the years ahead. I am pleased that Roberto will be a part of building on Puerto Rico's rich baseball tradition."
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.