One of the first prominent Latin players in Major League Baseball, Avila blazed a trail for Mexicans with a marvellous career.
Avila, who died on this day in 2004 at the age of 78, was a second baseman for multiple teams, including the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.
He’s best remembered for his time with Cleveland, with whom he won the American League batting crown with a .341 average despite playing almost the entire season with a broken thumb.
He finished his career with three All-Star appearances, a .281 average, 80 home runs, 467 RBI and was inducted into the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.
After his playing days, Avila served as mayor of his home city of Veracruz, before being elected president of the Mexican Baseball League.
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