Cal Ripken was the Orioles' "estrella" as "medio campista." Sammy Sosa hit 49 "cuadrangulares" last year. Orlando Hernandez is a right-handed "lanzador" for the Montreal Expos.
These are some of the "Super Estrellas" (superstars) featured on new baseball cards done in Spanish.
The cards, made by Donruss Trading Card Company, one of the biggest card makers in the United States, are just like regular baseball cards, except for words such as estrella, primera base and lanzador.
So, why make a set of 225 baseball cards in Spanish?
Well, recent numbers from the Census Bureau, which keeps track of this stuff, said that in 2001, 37 million people in the United States were Hispanic. And the Washington area's Hispanic population is about 400,000.
Hispanics are people of Spanish-speaking heritage mostly from Latin America or Spain. They can be of any race. Many Latin Americans prefer the term Latino.
Beyond that, about one-quarter of professional baseball players are Hispanic.
Tracy Hackler, who works for Donruss, believes that baseball's Latino fans will like and buy the cards.
The cards also help the children of Latino parents continue to speak Spanish as well as English. The kids "speak and read English, but their parents want their kids to have these cards so they can practice their native language," Hackler said.
The cards, which will be available this summer throughout the Washington area, seem like a good idea to some baseball fans. "People love baseball, especially Hispanic people," said Heber Paredes, 13, of Hyattsville. "Some don't know English, so it is nice to have the cards in Spanish."
The cards are not only for Latinos. Hackler points out that the cards can be used by kids "who have an interest in the Spanish language and in baseball."
"Baseball cards are fun," said Varinia Sandino, 13, of Takoma Park. "I think that Latinos and non-Latinos can have fun trading them."
I'll trade you the rookie Sammy Sosa for a Super Estrella Sosa!
-- Luz Lazo