The Tampa Bay Rays made major league history on Thursday by starting nine Latin American players against the Toronto Blue Jays. It happened as baseball celebrated Roberto Clemente Day, honoring the late Hall of Fame outfielder from Puerto Rico. Clemente played 18 seasons with Pittsburgh, per the AP, winning four NL batting titles and helping the Pirates win the World Series in 1960 and 1971. He won the NL MVP award in 1966. Clemente was 38 when he was killed in a plane crash on New Year's Eve in 1972, on his way to deliver aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. Every Sept. 15, home teams also honor their nominee for the annual Roberto Clemente Award, given to a player who displays extraordinary character, community involvement, and philanthropy, per Yahoo Sports.
Third baseman Yandy Díaz and right fielder Randy Arozarena, who are both from Cuba, topped the lineup, followed by shortstop Wander Franco, who is from the Dominican Republic, and first baseman Harold Ramírez, who is from Colombia. The designated hitter was Manual Margot, who is from the Dominican Republic, followed by left fielder David Peralta, who is from Venezuela. The second baseman was Isaac Paredes of Mexico, the catcher was René Pinto of Venezuela, and center fielder Jose Siri of the Dominican Republic rounded out the batting order. All nine players, as well as base coaches Chris Prieto at first and Rodney Linares at third, wore No. 21 to honor Clemente. Left-hander Shane McClanahan, an American, was activated off the 15-day injured list before the game to start for the Rays.
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