PUERTO RICO – There was talk of getting Sadaharu Oh, the great home run hitter from Japan who hit 868 career homers, be considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame. If so, Then this gentleman – Hector Espino – should also be considered for Cooperstown’s hallowed halls.
Who is Espino? Well, here a list of accomplishments for a ballplayer who has been called the “Babe Ruth of Mexico.” And, his lofty achievements compare favorably with many baseball legends who have received baseball’s highest honor.
• Batting Titles – Won a staggering 18 batting titles(winter/summer leagues) which is six more than the 12 batting crowns Hall of Famer Ty Cobb captured.
• Most years with one team – Spent 24 years with the Orange Men from 1960-85. Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (Orioles) and Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox) are tied with 23 years of service in one uniform.
• Oldest man to win a batting title – Espino was 43 years-old when he batted .316 in 1983. Ted Williams was 40 when he hit .328 in 1958.
• Most Home Runs – Swatted 481 homers in Mexico, and another 453 in the Mexican League. His 937 home runs are more than Oh and Josh Gibson, Hall of Famer who played in the Negro Leagues, who hit 814 homers.
• Led the Mexican team to its first Caribbean World Series win in 1976, and in 1988 was elected to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame (“Salon de la Fama”).
So, what do you think about Oh or Espino being worthy for inclusion in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York?
Ismael Nunez is a Puerto Rican sports writer and BaseballdeWorld Latin American Correspondent.
Photo courtesy of salondelafama.com.mx