The Tampa Bay Rays made a special kind of history on Roberto Clemente Day.
For Thursday's 11-0 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto, Tampa Bay rolled out a starting lineup that featured nine Latino players. It marked the first time in MLB history that all nine hitters in a starting lineup were born in a Latin American country, the Elias Sports Bureau confirmed.
Third baseman Yandy Díaz led off Tampa Bay's historic lineup and was followed by right fielder Randy Arozarena, shortstop Wander Franco, first baseman Harold Ramírez, designated hitter Manuel Margot, left fielder David Peralta, second baseman Isaac Paredes, catcher René Pinto and center fielder Jose Siri. The countries represented were Colombia (Ramírez), Cuba (Díaz, Arozarena), the Dominican Republic (Franco, Margot, Siri), Mexico (Paredes) and Venezuela (Peralta, Pinto).
All nine Rays starters, along with many others across baseball, donned the No. 21 to honor Clemente.
A native of Puerto Rico, Clemente was the first player from Latin America to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He played his entire 18-year career on the Pittsburgh Pirates, with whom he won one MVP award, two World Series, four batting titles, 12 Gold Gloves and made 15 All-Star Games.
Clemente, who was revered for his tireless humanitarian efforts off the field, died at age 38 in a 1972 plane crash while attempting to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
The Commissioner's Award, which honors an MLB player who displays extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions on and off the field, was named after Clemente in 1973. MLB first observed Roberto Clemente Day in 2002.