SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rican baseball baseball player Carlos Beltran has successfully convinced Major League Baseball to hire full-time translators for Hispanic athletes, it was announced Tuesday.
The idea arose in 2014 when Dominican pitcher Michael Pineda was sanctioned by Major League Baseball for hiding pine tar in his neck during a game. After he was suspended for 10 games, he was unable to explain himsels in English to journalists covering the story.
Sports historian Jossie Alvarado recalled how the American press mocked Puerto Rican baseball star the late Roberto Clemente for his accent and limited English proficiency.
"I has taken over a century to set up the use of translators," said Alvarado.
Since Cuban Esteban Bellan became the first Latino to play in the major leagues in the late 19th century, more and more players -- Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Colombians -- have followed suit.
Almost 30 percent of the players in the majors are Latino. The other largest minority group are Asian, who already have translators.