Brear Baldridge

Written by Brear Baldridge

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Luis Aparicio, the legendary Venezuelan baseball player, is undoubtedly one of the most captivating figures in the history of the sport. With his impressive career spanning over 18 seasons, Aparicio played as a shortstop, leaving an indelible mark on the game and solidifying his place among the all-time greats.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Luis Aparicio and explore 17 intriguing facts about his life, achievements, and contributions to the world of baseball. From his early beginnings in Maracaibo, Venezuela, to his record-breaking seasons in Major League Baseball, Aparicio’s journey is filled with remarkable stories and unforgettable moments that continue to inspire fans and fellow athletes alike.

So, buckle up and get ready to discover some captivating insights into the life of Luis Aparicio, a true baseball icon.

Key Takeaways:

  • Luis Aparicio, a Venezuelan baseball legend, was known for his exceptional base-stealing and defensive skills, earning nine Gold Glove Awards and leading the American League in stolen bases for nine seasons.
  • Aparicio’s impact extended beyond the baseball diamond, as he became a cultural icon in Venezuela, inspiring aspiring baseball players and serving as a symbol of national pride.
Table of Contents

Early Life and Background

Luis Aparicio was born on April 29, 1934, in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Growing up in a baseball-loving family, it was no surprise that Aparicio developed a passion for the sport at a young age.

The Making of a Legend

Aparicio made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox on April 17, 1956, becoming the first Venezuelan to play in the major leagues.

A Stealing Sensation

Aparicio was renowned for his exceptional base-running skills. He led the American League in stolen bases for nine seasons, establishing himself as one of the most prolific base stealers in the history of the game.

Golden Glove

Aparicio’s defensive prowess earned him nine consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1958 to 1966, demonstrating his exceptional fielding abilities at the shortstop position.

World Series Champion

In 1966, Aparicio played a crucial role in leading the Baltimore Orioles to a World Series victory, solidifying his status as a champion on baseball’s biggest stage.

Hall of Fame Inductee

Aparicio was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, recognizing his outstanding contributions to the game as one of its premier shortstops.

Venezuelan Baseball Federation President

After retiring from playing, Aparicio served as the President of the Venezuelan Baseball Federation, working tirelessly to promote and develop the sport in his home country.

Named to MLB All-Century Team

Aparicio’s impact on the game was further recognized when he was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999, solidifying his place among the all-time greats.

His Number Retired

In 1984, the Chicago White Sox retired Aparicio’s No. 11 jersey, honoring his immense contributions to the team during his tenure with the franchise.

All-Star Appearances

Aparicio was selected to the All-Star Game nine times throughout his career, showcasing his consistent excellence and status as one of the game’s premier players.

A Model of Consistency

Aparicio played in 2,581 games throughout his career, demonstrating his durability and unwavering commitment to the game.

A Complete Player

In addition to his defensive prowess and base-stealing ability, Aparicio was also a solid hitter. He finished his career with a .262 batting average and 2,677 hits.

Cultural Icon

Aparicio’s impact extended beyond the baseball diamond. He became a cultural icon in Venezuela, inspiring generations of aspiring baseball players and serving as a symbol of national pride.

Speedster Milestone

Aparicio recorded his 500th stolen base on June 21, 1964, becoming just the fifth player in history to reach that milestone at the time.

Defensive Records

Aparicio held the record for the most games played by a shortstop (2,581) until it was surpassed by another legendary shortstop, Cal Ripken Jr.

A True Sportsman

Aparicio was known for his sportsmanship and respect for the game, earning him admiration not only from his teammates and opponents but also from fans worldwide.

Legacy and Influence

Luis Aparicio’s legacy continues to resonate in the world of baseball. His impact as a trailblazing Venezuelan player and his remarkable skills on the field have left an indelible mark on the sport.

In conclusion, Luis Aparicio’s career stands as a testament to his exceptional talent, dedication, and lasting impact on the game of baseball. From his incredible base-stealing ability to his outstanding defensive skills, Aparicio’s name will forever be associated with the legends of the sport.

So, the next time you find yourself immersed in a discussion about the greatest shortstops in baseball history, don’t forget to mention the 17 fascinating facts about Luis Aparicio, the Venezuelan icon who revolutionized the game.


In conclusion, Luis Aparicio is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and legendary figures in the world of baseball. From his incredible achievements on the field to his impact as a trailblazer for Venezuelan players, Aparicio’s legacy is one that will be forever cherished. Through his exceptional career, he paved the way for future generations of players and left an indelible mark on the sport. Aparicio’s defensive prowess, speed, and tenacity solidify his position as one of the greatest shortstops to ever grace the diamond. Whether you are a die-hard baseball fan or simply appreciate the art of athletic excellence, exploring the life and achievements of Luis Aparicio is a captivating journey that is sure to leave you inspired.


1. When was Luis Aparicio born?

Luis Aparicio was born on April 29, 1934.

2. Which teams did Luis Aparicio play for during his career?

Aparicio played for three MLB teams during his career: the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Boston Red Sox.

3. What is Luis Aparicio’s most notable achievement?

Aparicio’s most notable achievement is his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, cementing his status as one of the all-time greats in the sport.

4. How many Gold Glove Awards did Luis Aparicio win?

Aparicio won nine Gold Glove Awards throughout his career, showcasing his exceptional defensive skills at the shortstop position.

5. Did Luis Aparicio hold any records?

Yes, Aparicio held several records, including the most stolen bases by a shortstop in major league history until his record was surpassed by Ozzie Smith.

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