In two weeks, Latinos living in the United States will start celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
It's the period to recognize the contributions of Hispanics to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15.
Every year Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept. 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on Sept. 16 and Chile on Sept. 18.
Oct. 12, Columbus Day or Dia de la Raza, also falls within this 30-day period.
As a Florida resident and a baseball fan and writer, I have to acknowledge that one of the most notable contributions to the Sunshine State is baseball itself.
This season we are watching from both sides of the State, two great All-Stars from the Dominican Republic.
The Marlins' Hanley Ramirez is going on with an MVP season and one month shy to win his first career batting title in the National League.
On the other side, the Rays' Carlos Peña is on pace to finish the season as the American League home run king.
This is my list of the top 20 Latinos to wear a Marlins and/or Rays jersey in the Major Leagues:
Luis Castillo (Marlins)
Miguel Cabrera (Marlins)
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins-active)
Mike Lowell (Marlins)
Alex Gonzalez (Marlins)
Antonio Alfonseca (Marlins)
Edgar Renteria (Marlins)
Livan Hernandez (Marlins)
Ivan Rodriguez (Marlins)
Moises Alou (Marlins)
Bobby Bonilla (Marlins)
Armando Benitez (Marlins)
Ugueth Urbina (Marlins)
Carlos Delgado (Marlins)
Alfredo Amezaga (Marlins)
Jorge Cantu (Rays/Marlins-active)
Dioner Navarro (Rays-active)
Carlos Peña (Rays-active)
Roberto Hernandez (Rays)
Julio Lugo (Rays)