Posts Tagged ‘Esteban Bellan’
Until recently it was assumed that Esteban Bellan was the only Latin player in the NABBP. But, there may have been three Latin-born men in the NABBP.
Esteban Bellan was the first Latin-born player in the professional major leagues, the National Association, 1871-1873.
Prior to that he played in the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) with the Unions of Morrisania (Bronx, NYC) in 1868 and with the Unions of Lansingburgh – better known as the Troy Haymakers – from 1869-1870.
The NABBP was a loose association of ball clubs originally formed in New York City in 1857.
RAFAEL DE LA RUA
Rafael de la Rua played for the Unions of Lansingburgh in 1868 – making him the first Latin in the NABBP, as he pitched before Bellan joined his club.
De la Rua is merely identified as “Rua” in Marshall D. Wright’s The National Association of Base Ball Players, 1857-1870. He was recently identified by Peter Morris and John Thorn. below you’ll find more information on Rua at Agate Type Baseball.
While researching Esteban Bellan recently, I discovered a college teammate of his named Christodoro or Cristodoro or Cristadoro.
They played on the Rose Hills club which is the school team of Fordham University, then known as St. John’s College (Bronx, NYC).
New York Times 6/19/1868
Note Bellan at catcher and two Latin outfielders “Christodoro” and “Esendoro.”
Also, notice the umpire – George Wright – who, I believe, was responsible for bringing Bellan and perhaps Cristodoro onto his team, the Unions of Morrisania, a couple weeks later.
Brooklyn Eagle 6/29/1868
At this point, it’s not clear whether Cristodoro actually played with the Unions or not – but of course the possibility is there.