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Orlando Cepeda: 1937—: Baseball Player

Won Rookie Of The Year

Cepeda's rookie season was spectacular, starting with his first Major League game with the Giants against the Dodgers. At only his second-at-bat, he hit a homerun that scored the winning run for the Giants. He would go on to belt out 24 more homers that season, bring in 96 runs, and bat an impressive .312. These numbers along with his amazing fielding skills garnered Cepeda the Rookie of the Year award and thrust him into the limelight for Giants fans as well as baseball fans across the country.

Cepeda would not disappoint his fans in the coming seasons, continuing to excel and craft his game. In 1961 Cepeda had one of the most outstanding years of his career, leading the entire Major League with 46 homeruns and 142 RBIs. This performance allowed Cepeda to outshine many players that season, including teammate and veteran Willie Mays, who many still felt was the best player on the Giants during that time period. Giants manager Bill Rigney called Cepeda on the Latino Legends in Sports website, "The best young right-handed power hitter I've ever seen."

Unfortunately for Cepeda, the Giants went through a rotating succession of managers, not all of whom were as excited about Cepeda's skills as Rigney. First there was Alvin Dark, who served as Giant's general manager in the early 1960s, and he made statements often of how he felt that black and Latino players were inferior to white players. Following him was Herman Franks, a man many people feel crippled Cepeda's career in San Francisco by moving him from first base to the outfield where Cepeda began to have knee problems from an injury that he sustained by diving for a ball. This knee injury would bench Cepeda for all but 33 games in the 1965 season and was ultimately the reason he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966 even though he was still hitting close to, if not over, a .300 batting average per season.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographyOrlando Cepeda: 1937—: Baseball Player Biography - Followed In Father's Footsteps, Won Rookie Of The Year, Helped Cardinals Win Championship