Before writing books about UFOs, Noe Torres authored two critically-acclaimed books about the history of baseball in South Texas. Here they are ….
From 1910 to 1977, the remote, sparsely populated, and rugged area of Texas along the Rio Grande River was a hotbed of minor league baseball. Introduced by soldiers stationed along the Mexican border in the late 1800s, the sport grew quickly among the mainly Hispanic population. Eleven minor leagues grew and flourished from Corpus Christi south to the Rio Grande Valley. And though all but one of those leagues are gone, their history is as saucy and lively as anything in the majors, with incredible performances, startling scandals, superstars bound for glory, and more. A fascinating read for any baseball fan, Ghost Leagues is a season-by-season account of minor league baseball played in the rough land along the country’s southernmost border.
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Long before minority players became an accepted part of professional baseball in the U.S., a blazing-fast Mexican-American outfielder named Leo Najo rose to national prominence. Overcoming great personal adversity and the racial prejudice of the day, he transformed himself into one of the greatest players of the early 20th century. When Najo debuted in 1924 with the San Antonio Bears of the Class A Texas League, he electrified standing room only crowds with his incredible speed and astonishing outfield catches. After Najo was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1925, The Washington Post called him “one of the greatest baseball players of all time.” His meteoric rise to stardom opened the doors of professional baseball for the many outstanding Hispanic players that have since followed.
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