1998 Inductee - Sachus Orosco


1998 Inductee - Sachus Orosco

SPORTS

If baseball is the national pastime then there can be no “American” in “Mexican-American” until the game is opened to them. Minorities were banned from Major League Baseball until 1956 because they supposedly lacked the intelligence, leadership and physical skills to compete.

“In the ‘30’s and ‘40’s when it came to organized group sports, even in the high schools, Mexicans were limited. We were too short to play basketball and too light for football,” remembers Sachus. In 1995 Sachus and his friends started the first Mexican-American baseball league, the Pan American Club, which later was renamed the Cal-Mex League.

“This all started because my brother, Primo got nine players together that wanted to play baseball on Sunday afternoons.” Their team was named Club Mexico and played other valley teams. Soon eight teams banded together to form a league which is still going strong. In 1959 he was the league’s MVP.

Sachus has been a left fielder, announcer, team owner and commissioner (since 1989) of the league. When it was dying in 1977 and 1991 he brought it back to life. A controversy that was harming the league was the “Six-Mexican Quota” which forced teams to have at least six Mexicans-American on the field at all times. “Flexibility and substitutions were virtually impossible under the existing system, and it just wasn’t right. I saw the writing on the wall. That rule needed to change.” The quota was decreased and eventually killed in 1991 despite protest. The end of the quota helped the league go from six teams to its present ten.

Sachus didn’t rush to become commissioner in 1989. “I saw the league was dying and there was no one else, so I had to step in.”

Don’t think the league is not competitive. Major leaguers such as Eddie Guardado (Minnesota Twins) and Victor Sanchez (Houston Astros) have shown their skills at Stribley Park’s Limon diamonds.

“As a Cal-Mex player one experiences the same scrutiny that is found in the minors and major leagues. One advantage of being on a Cal-Mex team is the opportunity to be exposed to college scouts who closely monitor our league. A good all-around player might grasp a four-year scholarship. Even if he doesn’t make it in baseball, he has his education to fall back on.”

Sachus has also been the founder of T-ball teams, the first step in playing organized baseball for both boys and girls. He does have a life outside of baseball. He worked for over 45 years at Newark Sierra Paperboard plant. In 1995 he was president of the East Side Police Advisory Board. The board provided for citizen contract with the police department and neighborhood get togethers to encourage “people to get to know each other.” Since this writing, Sachus Orosco has passed on.