The speedy Venezuelan shortstop, Luis Aparicio, took baseball by storm at an early age, then maintained it for enough seasons to be considered one of the greatest shortstops of his time.

Aparicio came over to the United States at a time when that was rare. He signed with the Chicago White Sox and made his MLB debut in 1956.

1956 would prove to be a defining year for the shortstop. He would win rookie of the year honors after leading the American League in stolen bases. This would set the standard for years to come, as he would have the AL stolen base title ever year through 1964.

Aparicio was also an outstanding fielder. He won a total of 9 Gold Gloves, including five in a row from 1958-1962.

After the 1962 season, the White Sox sent him to the Orioles, the team he won his only World Series with in 1966. He would return to the White Sox in 1968, and then played three seasons with the Boston Red Sox from 1971-73 before retiring for good.

Aparicio did everything that was expected of a shortstop from his era. He could field, he could run and he could slap hit. Compared to shortstops of today, his statistics might not make him looking slick that great, but he was always considered a valuable player for his time.

The Venezuelan was honored for his exploits in 1984, when he became the first player from his country to ever be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He still remains a fan favorite for White Sox fans who remember #11 at shortstop.

 

 

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