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Latinx Heritage Month

On this day in Latinx history: Reds’ Dolf Luque is first Latino to play in World Series

Pitcher appeared in two games for Cincinnati in the 1919 series against the White Sox

Dolf Luque stepped on the mound at Comiskey Park, soaking in his first World Series action as he was called out of the bullpen to replace Cincinnati Reds teammate Ray Fisher.

Ninety feet away from Luque stood Chicago White Sox right fielder Nemo Leibold, the leadoff hitter for the eighth inning. It took five throws, but the Cuban pitcher struck out Leibold.

Eddie Collins stepped up to the plate and hit a grounder to the first baseman, whom Luque had to cover at the bag to get the second out of the inning. Buck Weaver came up to bat and grounded out to the second baseman, who hurled the ball to first base to get the last out.

Luque threw 13 pitches — four strikes, six balls, two grounders and one foul — on Oct. 3, 1919, to become the first Latino to play in a World Series. The Reds lost that game 3-0 but ultimately went on to win the eight-game series 5-3. Eight players from the White Sox were accused of intentionally losing the series for money in the “Black Sox Scandal.”

Luque also pitched in Game 7 and faced 13 batters, striking out five and allowing a single hit.

The right-hander, who finished with 194 wins over a 20-year career, replicated that success as a member of the New York Giants team that won the 1933 World Series. For many of the years before World War II, Luque was one of only a handful of Latino players in the big leagues.

He began his career with the Boston Braves in 1914, joined the Reds in 1918 and spent 12 years in Cincinnati before joining the Brooklyn Robins in 1930. Two years later, Luque joined the Giants, and he retired with the team in 1935.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.