The Latino Baseball Hall of Fame has announced its second class of honorees - a group loaded with players whose excellence on the field transcended their loyal Hispanic fan base.
A dozen former players make up the 2011 Hall of Fame class of the Salón de la Fama del Béisbol Latino. They will be inducted February 12, 2012, at the Altos de Chavón at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Topping the list are legendary pitchers Luís Tiant, the Cuban hurler who played for the Boston Red Sox and five other teams, and Mexican Fernando Valenzuela, whose 10 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers took the league by storm.
The other inductees are Nicaraguan pitcher Dennis Martínez; Panamanian catcher Manny Sanguillén; Puerto Rican designated hitter Edgar Martínez; outfielder Rico Carty, of the Dominican Republic; Venezuelan first baseman Andrés Galarraga; and old-timers Adolfo Luque of Cuba; Chile Gómez of México; Héctor López of Panama; Horacio Martínez of the Dominican Republic; and Vidal López of Venezuela.
The organization also announced that it would present special awards to Oscar Negro-Prieto for promoting the game and Alex Rodríguez - the New York Yankees third-baseman whose parents are Dominican - for hitting his 600th home run.
The announcement was made Sunday at the new Yankee Stadium - the perfect stage to posthumously honor George Steinbrenner. The Salón gave his family the Tommy Lasorda award, given to a non-Latino who advances Hispanic interests in the game.
Notable players on the ballot who just missed include: Tony Armas, Tony Peña and Juan Igor-González.