The Orlando Cepeda Story

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A star first baseman and feared slugger, Orlando Cepeda played seventeen seasons in the major leagues. During his tenure with six teams, the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Oakland A's, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals, he forged a stellar career that eventually earned him membership in baseball's Hall of Fame.
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The Orlando Cepeda Story

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A star first baseman and feared slugger, Orlando Cepeda played seventeen seasons in the major leagues. During his tenure with six teams, the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Oakland A's, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals, he forged a stellar career that eventually earned him membership in baseball's Hall of Fame.
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Editorial Reviews

Orlando Cepeda's father, known as the Babe Ruth of Puerto Rico, turned down a chance to play in the Negro Leagues on the mainland when black players were excluded from the major leagues. In 1958, when Orlando began his career, segregation was still an ugly reality, but he overcame obstacles to play with six major league teams. His career led him to cross paths with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson, and many other famous baseball players. Born with a deformed leg and guided by a harshly critical father, Orlando chose baseball over basketball and playing drums. Arriving on the mainland speaking only Spanish, he faced overt racism from fans and within the teams for which he played. Despite knee injuries, salary disagreements, and both personal and professional problems, Orlando experienced an impressive seventeen-year career. After his retirement, he was convicted of smuggling drugs and sent to prison. Considering prison a "learning experience," he stopped blaming others for his mistakes, and after his release, he worked in a drug rehabilitation program and as a baseball instructor, coach, and goodwill ambassador. In 1993, he was elected to the Puerto Rican Hall of Fame and in 1999 to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, an honor that he earned by becoming a mature person as well as a star baseball player. This easy-to-read biography will supplement and update the autobiographical Baby Bull (Taylor, 1998). It should appeal to sports fans and might provide food for thought for young readers. Index. Charts. Source Notes. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; MiddleSchool, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Arte Público, 192p,
— Sherry York
Children's Literature
When this Hall-of-Fame player first entered basketball in the mid-1950s, things were a lot different. Young readers will be shocked to learn that the dark-skinned Puerto Rican power hitter and first baseman couldn't be served at some restaurants, and that some players and even managers were openly prejudiced. Cepeda persevered, though, and went on to play for half a dozen major-league teams, hobnobbing with baseball legends such as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Lou Brock, Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson and Juan Marichal. He also made some bad choices, most notably drug use and infidelity, and even served some time in prison for smuggling pot. "His story rich and full as it has been is one that we can learn from, too," the author notes. Markusen's book is extremely detail-laden, often describing crucial innings play-by-play. This will fascinate students of the game, but is likely to bore others. It's still a good bet for the sports-biography bookshelves in libraries and classrooms, however, because it tells the story of a very complicated sporting life, warts and all. 2001, Pinata Books/Arte Publico Press,
— Donna Freedman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558853331
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction vii
Chapter 1 Birth of The Baby Bull 1
Chapter 2 Land of Segregation 9
Chapter 3 Home of the Giants 15
Chapter 4 The Second Season 23
Chapter 5 Trouble with the Boss 27
Chapter 6 A Clubhouse Divided 39
Chapter 7 Two's a Crowd at First Base 49
Chapter 8 Starring in St. Louis 59
Chapter 9 Trying to Repeat 71
Chapter 10 A Trade of Superstars 77
Chapter 11 Injured in Atlanta 87
Chapter 12 Saved by a Rule 97
Chapter 13 The Beantown Basher 101
Chapter 14 Last Stop, Kansas City 105
Chapter 15 Trouble with the Law 113
Chapter 16 Waiting for the Call to the Hall 123
Orlando Cepeda's Career Statistics 127
List of Sources 129
Index 131
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2001

    Effort worthy of the subject

    The author does a commendable job of explaining to a young audience how Orlando Cepeda made a mistake that cost him the respect of his home country and how he worked to regain the people's trust.

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