Baltimore Orioles DH Vladimir Guerrero set the record for hits by an MLB player born in the Dominican Republic with a single against the Boston Red Sox Monday night. Guerrero's hit was the 2,587th of his career, and during the next plate appearance, he stole the 181st base of his career. One more home run over the next two days would bring Guerrero to the milestone figure of 450 for his career.
To many fans watching in the United States, Guerrero's achievement last night might mean relatively little, but to Latin American players, records like those mean the world.
It is a matter of national pride, yes, but also a permanent mark of their perseverance: Of all the players who have ever overcome all it took to reach the big leagues coming out of the Dominican, Guerrero has collected the most hits.
Is Guerrero, with his career .318/.379/.553 line and his 2004 MVP award, the best Dominican player of all time? He has a great deal of competition there, and it is not a question of mere trivia.
Here are the 15 best Dominican players in MLB history, the men clearing the way for a future in which Latino ballplayers are even more successful and respected.