Hector Espino Gonzalez (The Babe Ruth of Mexico) Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rednour   
Monday, 31 July 2006

A symbol of Mexican pride, the slugging Espino (honorary 500 Home Run Club®Member) is the all-time Minor League home run hitter with 484 long balls. After being named the Mexican League Rookie of the Year in 1962, he led the league in home runs in 1964 and 1972; batting average in 1964 and in 1966-68; and in RBI in 1962 and 1973. His Mexican League homerun record of 46 long balls, set in 1964, stood until 1986.

Although he received offers to play for the Cardinals, Mets, and Padres, Espino opted to remain in his Mexican homeland for the majority of his career. He did play 32 games for Jacksonville (International League) in 1964, batting .300, but was offended by racial discrimination and swore he would never again play in the United States.

He retired at age 45 after playing 25 seasons and was inducted into the Mexican Baseball Salon de la Fama in 1988.

Fun Facts about Espino:

• He led the Mexican team to its first Caribbean Series win (1976) and he played in 6 Caribbean Series.

• He won 13 batting titles in 24 years in winter ball and was inducted into the the Caribbean Hall of Fame.

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