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July 13, 2007|Jaime Cardenas

When pitcher Yovani Gallardo made his debut for the Milwaukee Brewers on June 18, he became the 100th Mexican-born player to reach the major leagues. Times staff writer Jaime Cardenas picks his All-Mexican-born team, with team for which the player made his debut and years in the majors:

* Pitcher: Fernando Valenzuela, Dodgers, 1980-97 -- One word: Fernandomania. You know the rest.

* Catcher: Francisco "Paquin" Estrada, New York Mets, 1971 -- Played only one game but did manage Mexico to a victory over Team USA in last year's World Baseball Classic. He is the team's player-coach.

* First base: Erubiel Durazo, Arizona, 1999-2005 -- Hit 94 home runs in seven seasons.

* Second base: Roberto "Beto" Avila, Cleveland, 1949-59 -- Edged out Ted Williams and Minnie Minoso in 1954 to win American League batting title, first Latino to do so.

* Shortstop: Ruben Amaro, St. Louis, 1958-69 -- In 1964, his best season, he played five positions, and still managed to win the Gold Glove at shortstop.

* Third base: Vinny Castilla, Atlanta, 1991-2006 -- His best season was 1998, when he hit .319 with 46 home runs and 144 runs batted in for Colorado.

* Right field: Baldomero "Mel" Almada, Boston Red Sox, 1933-39 -- Leadoff hitter, first Mexican-born player in the majors, he made his debut with the Red Sox on Sept. 8, 1933.

* Center field: Alfredo Amezaga, Angels, 2002-present -- Amezaga is a super-utility man. He broke into the majors as an infielder but has played most of his games with Florida the last two seasons in the outfield.

* Left field: Karim Garcia, Dodgers, 1995-2004 -- Played 10 season in the majors, longest-lasting outfielder Mexico has produced.


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