The dedication of the 2023-24 season of the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League to Orlando Cepeda is a fitting tribute to a legendary baseball player with a remarkable career. Orlando Cepeda’s contributions to the sport and his achievements are truly noteworthy:
MVP Awards: Cepeda is one of only six players to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice, achieving this honor in 1958-1959 and 1961-1962.
Batting Champion: He was the batting champion in 1958-59 with a batting average of .362, a remarkable accomplishment.
Statistical Leader: Cepeda led the league in various statistical categories during his career, including hits, home runs, doubles, RBIs, and runs scored.
Cycling the Bases: Cepeda achieved the feat of hitting for the cycle in a game, which is a testament to his well-rounded skills as a hitter.
Impressive Career Averages: He is the only Puerto Rican player to have a lifetime batting average of .300 or higher and a slugging percentage of .500 or higher, showcasing his consistent excellence at the plate.
Historical Rankings: Cepeda’s career statistics place him second in career slugging percentage, fifth in batting average, and ninth in home runs, highlighting his significance in the league’s history.
Family Legacy: His achievement as a batting champion, along with his father Pedro «Perucho» Cepeda, in Puerto Rican baseball is a unique and historic father-son duo accomplishment.
Hall of Fame Inductions: Orlando Cepeda’s impact on the world of baseball is evident through his induction into seventeen different Halls of Fame, including the prestigious Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.
Honors and Awards: He received the Pedrín Zorrilla Award in 1993 and was recognized as one of the 75 best players in the history of the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League in 2013.
Orlando Cepeda’s dedication to the sport, his outstanding career achievements, and his recognition in various Hall of Fame institutions all highlight the tremendous impact he has had on the history of baseball. The decision to dedicate the 2023-24 season to him is a well-deserved and valuable recognition of his iconic status in the world of sports.