The Orlando Cepeda Story by Bruce Markusen

By Bruce Markusen

When Orlando "Cha Cha" Cepeda all started taking part in significant league baseball in 1958, the San Francisco Giants' farm director in comparison the newly bought participant to the good Willie Mays, announcing that Cepeda was once the easiest younger participant he'd obvious because the "Say howdy child" emerged. The Orlando Cepeda Story follows that sensational yr and people following while Cepeda slammed his means right into a expert baseball profession that may final approximately 20 years and span six crew assignments.

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The Orlando Cepeda Story

While Orlando "Cha Cha" Cepeda started enjoying significant league baseball in 1958, the San Francisco Giants' farm director in comparison the newly bought participant to the good Willie Mays, announcing that Cepeda was once the simplest younger participant he'd noticeable because the "Say hello child" emerged. The Orlando Cepeda tale follows that sensational yr and people following while Cepeda slammed his means right into a expert baseball profession that will final approximately 20 years and span six staff assignments.

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For weeks, Perucho had refused to see a doctor. He had also been lax in taking his medicine regularly. He was now lying in bed at his home, in a coma, and very close to death. Just days before Orlando’s first scheduled game, Perucho Cepeda died. He was only forty-nine years old, and only four years removed from his last game as a baseball player. In order to help pay the costs of his father’s funeral, Orlando used the $500 bonus that he had received from the Giants. The timing of a death in the family, while never good, could not have been worse.

With Perucho gone, Carmen assumed even more responsibility in guiding her youngest son. “Right after my father died,” Orlando says, “my mother took the roles of father and mother. ” Although Carmen was very small at four feet, eleven inches, she was tough and feisty, and a good, strong influence on Orlando. Having discussed the situation with his mother, Orlando returned to the States but played poorly for Salem at the start of the season. The loss of his father had left him in a daze. “I was really too upset to play.

He would also have to deal with segregated dining cars on trains and segregated seating in movie theaters. Cepeda had been warned about this kind of treatment by another player, Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Like Cepeda, Clemente was black and Puerto Rican. Roberto had arrived on the United States mainland just a year before Orlando. He knew all about segregation. He knew it would be no different for Cepeda. Even so, Clemente’s words alone couldn’t prepare Cepeda for a culture that was so different from Puerto Rico.

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