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Luis Castro

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Luis Manuel Castro
(Jud)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Luis Castro played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1902. The following year he hit .328 for the minor-league Baltimore Orioles, as a teammate of Hughie Jennings and Wilbert Robinson.

He was long considered the first major leaguer to be born in Colombia, as well as South America. His debut came 37 years before Alex Carrasquel became the second South American player. It is clear that Castro's family came from Colombia, but the question was whether Luis himself was born there, or in New York, NY where his family emigrated. In later years, he listed his place of birth as New York, but this may have been part of an attempt to present himself as a born American, at a time when anti-immigrant feelings were high. A recently-uncovered passenger manifest shows a person whose biographical and family data matches what is known about Castro landing in New York City in the early 1880s, from Colombia. His family had been well-to-do in Colombia, where his father was a banker; however, his father sent the family to the United States because of chronic political instability and violence that threatened their safety.

Castro is listed as having been at Manhattan College between 1892-1901, when the institution was both a high school and post-secondary school. He came to the majors in 1902, playing for the Philadelphia Athletics. He was Danny Murphy's backup at second base that year, but was actually the player who replaced Napoleon Lajoie at the position when a court ruled that he could not play for the A's after breaking his contract with the National League's Philadelphia Phillies.

One source says that Castro had a long minor league career after 1902 under the nickname "Count". [citation needed] He also managed in the minors in 1909 and 1912.

Sporting Life typically referred to him as Louis Castro. It reported in 1903 that he was a nephew of Venezuela's president Cipriano Castro.

Luis was the earliest major leaguer by far with the last name Castro. The next was Bill Castro, who came up in 1974. From 2000-2011, there have been seven others with the last name Castro who have played in the major leagues.

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