Book Review: Baseball’s Great Hispanic Pitchers

Title:  Baseball’s Great Hispanic Pitchers – Seventeen Aces from the Major, Negro and Latin American Leagues

Author:  Lou Hernandez

Published:  2015 by McFarland, ISBN:  978-0-7864-7975-7; $39.95 new, $13.99 ebook; 306 pages

Lou Hernandez deals us a winning hand of 17 aces with this review of baseball’s greatest Hispanic pitchers.  He covers the standout Hispanic pitchers of each era or decade, beginning with Ramon Bragana and Martin Dihigo in the Negro and Latin American leagues and wrapping up with current star King Felix Hernandez.  Along the way, the book has indepth coverage of Ramon Arano, Ruben Gomez, Orlando Hernandez, Juan Pizarro, Adolfo Luque, Camilo Pascual, Juan Marichal, Luis Tiant, Mike Cuellar, Dennis Martinez, Fernando Valenzuela, Pedro Martinez, Mariano Rivera, and Johan Santana.

The biographical chapter on each lanzador is loaded with facts, stats, and anecdotes.  Although the author admits upfront that he is a fan of the "old school" views that pitcher wins, innings pitched and complete games are important, he also effectively weaves in the use of sabermetric measurements to compare and contrast pitcher effectiveness across the decades.

Mr. Hernandez also offers his opinion as to the greatest season ever by a Hispanic pitcher.  His two finalists are Pedro Martinez in 2000 and "Dolf" Luque in 1923.  You’ll have to get the book to find his choice among the two, and rationale therein.

I enjoyed this book and learned a lot.  I think most SABR members will. 

Author(s) background: Lou Hernandez is a fellow SABR member and lifelong baseball fan.  His recent books include:  Memories of Winter Ball – Interviews with Players in the Latin American Winter Leagues of the 1950s (2013, McFarland) and The Rise of the Latin American Baseball Leagues, 1947-1961:  Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela (2011, McFarland).  Lou lives in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

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