sábado, julio 18, 2020

Muere a los 84 años Tony Taylor, estrella cubana de los Filis de Filadelfia de las Grandes Ligas de Béisbol oMLB

Muere a los 84 años Tony Taylor, estrella cubana de los Filis de Filadelfia

El expelotero, miembro del Muro de la Fama de los Filis, falleció esta mañana a causa de complicaciones derivadas de un derrame cerebral sufrido en 2019

16 de julio, 2020

MIAMI, Estados Unidos. – El ex pelotero cubano Tony Taylor, quien se desempeñó por casi dos décadas en las Grandes Ligas de Estados Unidos, falleció este jueves a los 84 años.

“Tony Taylor, miembro desde 2002 del Muro de la Fama de los Filis, murió esta mañana tras las complicaciones de un derrame cerebral sufrido en 2019”, informó en Twitter la franquicia de Filis de Filadelfia, con la que Taylor jugó durante 15 años.

En 15 temporadas con los Filis, TT, como lo llamaban compañeros de equipo y fanáticos, bateó .261 con 219 dobles, 63 triples, 51 jonrones, 461 carreras impulsadas, 737 carreras, 169 bases robadas y un porcentaje de .322 en base ‘en 1 669 juegos.

Taylor es uno de los 12 jugadores de la franquicia que cuenta 1 500 hits como Phillie.

También ocupa el quinto lugar en juegos jugados, séptimo en turnos al bate (5 799), empatado en séptimo lugar en singles (1 178) y décimo en pelotazos recibidos (60).

“Tony fue innegablemente uno de los Filis más populares de su generación o de cualquier otra. Su talento en el béisbol sólo palidecía ante su personalidad cálida y comprometida. Siempre se daba tiempo para hablar con los fanáticos cuando visitaba Filadelfia para el fin de semana dedicado a los ex jugadores”, comentó John Middleton, socio principal del club.

El fallecido pelotero también formó parte de los Cachorros de Chicago y los Tigres de Detroit.

Tras su carrera como jugador, Taylor fue coach de las mayores con los Filis (1977-79) y los Marlins (1999-2001). Fungió también como manager y coach de las ligas menores con varias organizaciones.

El comunicado de los Filis agrega que a Taylor le sobreviven su esposa, Clara, y sus hijos.
Tony Taylor Deserves Celebration As Black Cuban Baseball Pioneer

By Nick Diunte
July 17, 2020

Tony Taylor, one of the few remaining pre-Castro Cuban major league baseball players, died Thursday in Miami due to complications from a 2019 stroke he suffered at Citizens Bank Park. He was 84.

Philadelphia Phillies fans adored Taylor for his spirited play; however, many have overlooked his role as one of the Latino pioneers who helped to integrate the game. Baseball historian and University of Illinois professor Dr. Adrian Burgos Jr. said Taylor deserved more recognition as one who advanced baseball's racial progress.

“Tony Taylor’s story has not been as widely appreciated as it should be in baseball history, or Latino baseball history, partly because when he came he was probably the last wave of players in the Cuban League that came to play professionally in the United States,” Burgos Jr. said via telephone.

Taylor came to the United States at 17, playing in 1954 for the independent Texas City team in the Evangeline League. As a Black Cuban, Taylor had the added pressure of integrating the league while not speaking English. He responded to the racist taunts the only way he knew how, on the field.

“It was very difficult for me because they sent me to play in Texas City,” Taylor said during a 2009 interview. “Then we moved to Thibodaux, Louisiana. I was the first black guy to play in that league. That was in 1954. I had a difficult time, but I knew I came to this country to play baseball, so I didn’t care. I don’t speak English; so, my only way was to be on the field, play baseball, enjoy myself and have a good time.”

Taylor had to navigate a country where the language was foreign while outsiders identified him as a Black-American due to his dark skin. He battled racism on both fronts, a common plight that other iconic players like Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, and Felipe Alou battled at the time.

“He speaks to the Black Latino experience,” Burgos Jr. said. “His last name Taylor meant some people didn't realize Tony was a Black Cuban. He was not African American, and that experience is one that other Black Latinos often spoke about.”

During his 50-plus years in professional baseball as a player and coach, Taylor made a wealth of connections; however, none he considered more important than Hall of Famer Alex Pompez. This was made clear when Burgos Jr. was seated next to Taylor during the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami.

Pompez signed Taylor to the New York Giants organization after his season in the Evangeline League. He was instrumental in bringing many young Latino talents, including Taylor, to professional baseball. During the 2017 All-Star Game, Major League Baseball honored the Latinos Hall of Famers on the field, including Pompez. When his name flashed on the screen, Taylor could not hold back his joy.

“They recognized Alex Pompez on screen, and I’m sitting next to Tony,” Burgos Jr. recalled. “He's like, ‘That's the man who signed me! He’s the guy who got me out of Cuba; he started it all for me.’ How much pride Tony had in being a guy who is part of this history, [one] that is captured in the Hall of Fame through the election of Alex Pompez. [He] connects that story of Black Latinos from the era of segregation, as integration pioneers, into the era of racially integrated baseball.”

Due to Pompez’s scouting ability, the Giants were so ripe with talent in the 1950s, they left Taylor unprotected in the 1957 Rule V Draft. The Cubs scooped up the 22-year-old as a double-play partner for Ernie Banks. This started his 19-year major league career, where Taylor accumulated over 2,000 hits and appeared in both 1960 All-Star games.

While Taylor was one of baseball's longest-tenured players who never played in the World Series; he did win a Caribbean Series title during the 1958-59 season with Almendares. Cholly Naranjo, one of his few living Almendares teammates, said Taylor’s infield skill was a thing of beauty.

“He made a hell of a double play combination with Willy Miranda,” Naranjo said when reached via phone on Friday. “You should have seen them; it was something special.”

Taylor played in the major leagues until 1976. He spent much of his post-playing career as a coach with the Phillies at both the major and minor league levels. He also coached in the Giants farm system before settling in with the Florida Marlins in the late 1990s. While he missed their World Series run in 2003, Taylor was so revered that pitcher Brad Penny spent his own money to make Taylor a ring.

Jack McKeon added Taylor to his staff in 2004 as a bench coach for his final year in baseball. When the season was over, he knew it was time to hang up his cleats for good and enjoy his retirement.

“I put 50 years in professional baseball,” Taylor said. “I played 19 years in the big leagues, and I coached for 31. ... My last year when I coached, I said, ‘I don’t want no more part of baseball. I want to say home, spend time with my family, travel and forget about everything.”

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